© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Libyans, Syrians, Iranians banned from America as US Supreme Court upholds Trump’s travel ban
THE Supreme Court of the United States of America has ruled that the travel ban order issued by President Donald Trump was constitutional.
Five out of nine of the Supreme Court Judges voted in favour of the travel ban, ordered by President Trump in September 2017. The ban affects mostly Muslim majority countries including Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia and Yemen, as well as Venezuela and North Korea.
Trump had insisted that the best way to prevent terrorists from attacking America is by preventing them from entering the country in the first place.
Delivering the majority ruling, John Roberts, US Chief Justice, held that in issuing the travel ban, Trump acted within his Presidential authority. Roberts also said the ban was not discriminatory to Muslims.
“The Proclamation is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices. The text says nothing about religion,” Roberts said.
However, in their dissenting opinions, Justices Ruth Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, argued that the ruling failed to uphold the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment.
“It leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ because the policy now masquerades behind a facade of national-security concerns,” Sotomayor wrote.
The original version of the travel ban included Iraq and Chad but both countries were later removed; Iraq for having “a close co-operative relationship with the US” and Chad for having “sufficiently improved its practices”.
Trump described the Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday as “a tremendous victory for the American People and the Constitution”.
“In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country,” the White House said in a statement.
SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2018
Jeff Sessions, US Attorney General, said the decision was “critical to ensuring the continued authority of President Trump – and all future presidents – to protect the American people.”
But immigration lawyer, Cyrus Mehta, speaking to the BBC, said the Congress could overrule the decision “so that a future president will not have a blank check to block the entire people of a nation – from babies to grandmothers – out of hate, fear or bigotry. That is our only hope for redemption as a nation”.
The Trump administration insists that the travel ban was the result of carefully considering national security interests, but many say Trump was merely fulfilling his campaign promise of “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.
Critics of the ban have noted that major terror attacks in the United States such as the 9/11 New York attacks, the Boston marathon bombing and the Orlando nightclub attack were all carried out by people from countries that were not included on the travel ban list, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kyrgyzstan. Some of the attacks were even by persons born in the US.