9th Circuit partly allows third travel ban to take effect

Immigration Law


A federal appeals court on Monday issued an order allowing President Donald Trump’s third travel ban to take effect against those who do not have a bona fide relationship to the United States.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the government’s motion for an emergency stay of a Hawaii federal judge’s nationwide injunction, report the Washington Post, Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and Courthouse News Service.

The 9th Circuit order (PDF) stays the preliminary injunction granted in October by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who had said the third travel ban “plainly discriminates based on nationality” in violation of federal laws. Watson had blocked the government’s restrictions on travel from six majority-Muslim countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Chad.

Watson did not block the government’s restrictions on travel from the two other nations on the latest list, North Korea and Venezuela.

The 9th Circuit panel said the restrictions on travel to the United States from those countries could take effect, except for “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

Those persons include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

The 9th Circuit stay will remain in place as it considers the appeal of Watson’s ruling.

A second judge, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang, has also allowed the travel ban to take effect for the six majority-Muslim countries with the bona fide relationship exception. Though Chuang’s October injunction was more limited than Watson’s, the basis for his decision was more far-reaching. Chuang said the travel ban likely violates the establishment clause as well as federal law.

The U.S. Justice Department said it will begin enforcing the travel ban consistent with the 9th Circuit’s order. The department said the government believes the travel ban should be allowed to take effect in its entirety, and it is reviewing the decision.

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