The Muslim ban is back.
After months of legal arguments, two executive orders and several rulings by federal courts, President Donald Trump’s long-promised Muslim ban takes effect tomorrow. Sort of.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the ban – which had been halted by federal courts across the country – could take partial effect, blocking people who lack “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” while the government and those challenging the ban prepare to argue the case before the Supreme Court in October.
Trump has spun the court’s ruling as a victory, but his celebration is premature. The lawsuits challenging the Muslim ban, including Trump v. IRAP and Trump v. Hawaii, both of which the Supreme Court has now agreed to hear, and our own lawsuit, UMAA v. Trump, were all brought on behalf of American citizens, residents and institutions who argued that the ban violates their constitutional rights by keeping their family members, students, employees and religious leaders – people with whom they had bona fide relationships – out of the country, based simply on their religion. By preventing the ban from applying to any of those people, the Supreme Court has apparently recognized that the ban may violate the Constitution.
Trump's ban is unconstitutional because it singles out Muslims for discrimination based solely on religion.
That said, it’s certainly disappointing that the court has allowed any part of the Muslim ban to proceed, especially because the effect of the ban may now fall most heavily on those most endangered by being barred from our country – refugees. We plan to tell the high court that it should strike down the Muslim ban altogether, because discrimination against one religion is a threat to the religious freedom of all.
Until then, this is what will happen: For 90 days, beginning Thursday, nationals of the six Muslim countries targeted by the president – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – who don’t have ties to people or organizations in the United States will be blocked from entering the country. And for 120 days, also beginning Thursday, refugees who have no such ties to the U.S. will also be blocked.
In late January, when the government unveiled the original version of the Muslim ban, it created chaos and confusion at airports around the country. This time, the government promises to carry out the ban “professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to affected travelers, and in coordination with partners in the travel industry.” AU and its allies will be watching closely, and we’ve already asked the government to clarify how the ban will work in practice.
But make no mistake: However it is executed, this ban is cruel, discriminatory and un-American. That’s why we’ve fought against it every step of the way – and we’re not stopping now. Read more about our efforts to fight the Muslim ban here.