The Supreme Court has canceled oral arguments on President Donald Trump’s travel ban and refugee ban — originally scheduled for October 10 — as both sides of the case work to file briefs on the impact of a new immigration order from the Trump administration, issued Sunday.
With his 90-day travel ban now expired, and the window for his 120-day refugee ban coming to a close, Trump announced a new immigration order effectively banning almost all travel from eight countries, six of which have majority Muslim populations — indefinitely. Five of these countries were also banned in the early iterations of Trump’s travel ban. New rules on the administration’s refugee policy are expected to come out in the coming days.
Come October 18, nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Somalia, and North Korea will be more-or-less be barred entrance to the United States. Each nation under this ban has its own travel restrictions, but the order overwhelming bars tourists, families of American residents, and even those seeking medical visas from entering the United States. Those who already have permanent residency or already hold visas are exempted from the ban, but cannot renew their visas after they expire.
The Supreme Court has not dropped hearings on the two cases against the travel ban and refugee ban all together. It is expected to reschedule oral arguments when it comes back in session this fall. Earlier this summer the Court partially removed a stay on the ban, allowing it to go into effect while the courts weighed its constitutionality.
Trump’s new order directs travel restrictions to stay in place until the named countries work to meet certain baseline security requirements set by the Department of Homeland Security — metrics that could be unattainable for countries without the proper technological advancements.
While the revised and more permanent travel ban is more specific in nature, and on its face breaks up a lot of possibility for litigation, advocates say the new directive does not erase the ban’s discriminatory origins.
“Six of President Trump's targeted countries are Muslim,” Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said. “The fact that Trump has added North Korea — with few visitors to the US — and a few government officials from Venezuela doesn't obfuscate the real fact that the administration's order is still a Muslim ban. President Trump's original sin of targeting Muslims cannot be cured by throwing other countries onto his enemies list.”
Judges from lower courts have already used statements from Trump and his surrogates in their rulings to block the travel ban in the past. Those continue to play a central role in the case against these policies.