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9th Circuit Decision of Trump Travel Ban 2.0

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled against President Trump’s revised travel ban. A three-judge panel unanimously made this decision.

In a joint opinion, the judges found the President exceeded his authority in issuing the travel ban, because he did “not offer a sufficient justification to suspend the entry of more than 180 million people on the basis of nationality.”

President Trump reissued the travel ban in March in order to, in part, bar entry of nationals of six predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days. He invoked national security concerns, because he found each of these countries “is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones.”

However, the President did not offer evidence that the ban on immigrants was related to terrorist organizations, nor linked these six nationalities to a propensity to commit terrorist attacks. Therefore, the Ninth Circuit concluded, the ban “does not provide a rationale” explaining why the ban furthered national security interests.

In addition to exceeding his authority, the judges also found that the President’s revised ban violated non-discrimination obligations in US immigration laws. Congress, in 1965, provided that “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.” The judges found the ban, therefore, illegally targeted immigrants based on their nationalities.

Lastly, the revised order forbid refugee resettlement for 120 days and cut the overall number of refugee admissions. The Ninth Circuit also found the President did not provide a finding that this refugee ban was rational.

This is the second circuit court decision against the revised ban. The administration has already appealed the previous decision to the Supreme Court.

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