Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from a number of Muslim countries is in front of the Supreme Court. This time, the ban faces better prospects after it was rejected the first time by most federal courts around the country. The case is seen as a massive legal test for the Trump administration and his immigration policy. This would also be the first time that the Supreme Court is granting a full hearing for the ban.
The justices at the court will decide whether the ban is legal or not. The White House claims that the travel ban was imposed for national security interests. However, some analysts see it as a mere campaign promise that the President made on the run-up to his election in 2016. The ban was imposed in September last year and the new version limits visas to travelers from five out of the six countries covered by the original order. These countries include Syria, Iran, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. The new travel ban will lift travel restrictions on Sudan and add new limits for North Korea and Venezuela. Chad which was also part of the initial ban has been removed from the list.
The travel restrictions were challenged in the state of Hawaii by its residents and a Muslim-American lobby group, and a federal judge blocked enforcement. However, the Supreme Court lifted the stay in December, and the enforcement of the law has been full ever since. The decision to overrule the Hawaii federal court was not unanimous with two justices dissenting. It’s widely expected that the hearing on Wednesday will back the White House in the new travel restrictions.
The Trump administration says that unlike the previous ban, this one is well-thought out. According to the White House, more than 200 countries were surveyed based on the security of their visa system and their efforts in fighting terrorism. The purpose of this survey was to identify high-risk countries and the administration believes that the six listed countries pose a threat to the United States.
The Justice Department says that the President has the authority to block the entry of illegal aliens in the country if he deems such a move is in nation’s best interest. Trump is not the first president that has exercised this authority. Ronald Reagan, for example, suspended the entry of all Cuban immigration.
But this has been challenged by various pro-immigration lobbyists. They say that the President can only ban foreign nationals who have certain specific characteristics that are a threat to the US. The current ban seems to only factor their nationality which is not entirely a risk, especially since these countries are not engaged in an open conflict with the US. Despite this, many still feel that the Supreme Court will uphold the ban. The court will post an audio recording and transcripts of the hearing as soon as it’s completed.