Travel ban: Will new version survive the courts?
The Trump administration’s latest travel ban could be its most “far-reaching” yet, said Tara Golshan in Vox.com. The White House unveiled an indefinite, more narrowly tailored version of its hotly contested policy this week, effectively barring nationals of six majority-Muslim countries— Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia— from entering the country, as well as adding travel ers from North Korea and Venezuela. Severe travel restrictions will remain in place on each nation until they meet certain security standards to screen out potential terrorists. The new policy replaces the previous temporary bans and is designed to clear up many of the legal “gray areas” that got them tied up in court. It’s also “a clear reassertion of Trump’s intent to keep large swaths of the world out of the United States.”
The White House appears to have learned its lesson from past travel bans, said Megan Oprea in TheFederalist.com. The first version, in January, “was rolled out sloppily, causing chaos at airports around the country and prompting massive protests.” While the latest travel ban may not have an end date, it does offer countries a way to get off the list by cooperating with U.S. security protocols. It’s already working. The U.S. government warned a longer list of countries in July that their efforts weren’t up to snuff, giving them 50 days to improve or face travel restrictions. Unfortunately, the ban does not protect the U.S. from radicalized European Muslims, who “could still easily make their way across the Atlantic.”
When the new ban came out, everyone was asking, “Why those countries?” said Philip Bump in The Washington Post. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan have had far more terrorist incidents than any nation on the list. North Korea and Venezuela have not been terrorism threats, and they were clearly added to avoid the “Muslim ban” label. Any judge who looks closely should conclude that this “is obviously a rewarmed Muslim ban,” said Noah Feldman in Bloomberg .com. Even so, the Supreme Court may welcome the opportunity to de-escalate the war between the judiciary and the White House. In slapping down the earlier, more blatant Muslim bans, the courts have already told Trump “that he can’t just declare his will by executive order.” Travel Ban 3.0 has many of the same constitutional flaws, but since the White House showed some deference to the courts in constructing it, the justices will likely let it stand.