Monday, September 25, 2017

Trump Issues New, More Targeted Version of Travel Ban

President Trump yesterday issued a Proclamation (full text) (press release) (White House background document) setting out a more targeted version of his travel ban.  The travel restrictions in the prior ban expired yesterday, while the refugee restrictions in the prior ban extend to Oct. 24.  The new ban focuses around a "baseline for the kinds of information required from foreign governments" to allow U.S. vetting of immigrants and non-immigrants. The Administration determined that 7 nations fail to meet these standards: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, and travel to the U.S. by nationals of those countries is largely banned. (Though restrictions on Venezuela are limited to travel here by government officials.) The Administration also found that Iraq does not meet the baseline standards, but excludes its nationals from new restrictions. A ban is placed on admission of immigrants from Somalia, even though it technically meets the baseline criteria. The Proclamation separately sets out the scope of the restrictions on each of the covered nations, tailoring each to the individual situations. (Fact SheetFAQs).

As reported by Reuters, these developments are likely to have an effect on the challenges to the prior travel ban pending in the courts.  The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on those challenges on Oct. 10. (See prior posting.) Yesterday the Administration asked the Supreme Court to consider receiving additional briefs to address the effects of the new Proclamation on the pending cases. Washington Post has additional reporting on the new Presidential Proclamation.

UPDATE: In an Order (full text) dated Sept. 25, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled:
The parties are directed to file letter briefs addressing whether, or to what extent, the Proclamation issued on September 24, 2017, may render cases No. 16-1436 and 16-1540 moot. The  parties should also address whether, or to what extent, the  scheduled expiration of Sections 6(a) and 6(b) of Executive Order No. 13780 may render those aspects of case No. 16-1540 moot.