BREAKING: ENJOINED AGAIN! NATIONWIDE TRO! Judge in Hawaii Says Travel Ban Violates Establishment Clause! Trump Administration Basically Found “Not Credible” On Immigration/National Security Claims — Trump’s Own Statements & Those of Giuliani, Miller Used To Show Bias!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-travel-ban-blocked_us_58c99d18e4b00705db4bc38f

Report from HuffPost:

“A federal judge in Hawaii has placed a nationwide hold on key aspects of President Donald Trump’s second attempt at a ban on travel ― a scaled-back version that targeted all non-visa holders from six Muslim-majority countries, as well as a halt on the U.S. refugee resettlement program ― just hours before the new restrictions were to take effect.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said sections of the new travel order likely amounted to a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which forbids the government from disfavoring certain religions over others.

Watson gave short shrift to the Trump administration’s argument that the new restrictions applied to a “small fraction” of the world’s 50 predominantly Muslim nations ― and thus could not be read to discriminate Muslims specifically.

“The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable,” Watson wrote. “The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.”

The judge also discarded the government’s defense that the text of the new executive order was silent on religion, supposedly solving constitutional defects identified by courts with the first order.

“Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude … that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, secondary to a religious objective of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims,” Watson wrote.”

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Here is Judge Watson’s written decision in State of Hawaii v. Trump:

http://www.hid.uscourts.gov/files/announcement142/CV17-50%20219%20doc.pdf

More bad news for the Administration — the Third Circuit has enjoined the removal of an Afghani interpreter with a visa who was denied admission and allegedly “withdrew” his application. Read about it in the WashPost here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/immigration-authorities-to-deport-afghan-man-who-helped-us-government/2017/03/15/a7eecb9a-098e-11e7-a15f-a58d4a988474_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-banner-main_travelban1010am:homepage/story&utm_term=.051c21ef8afe

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It’s early in the game on the Administration’s uncompromisingly hard line approach to immigration issues. So far, however, they have racked up an impressive string of losses from coast to coast from Article III Judges all across the spectrum.

In other words, the bombastically inappropriate statements made by Trump and his advisors have “poisoned the well,” and the Administration is probably going to find it difficult to “un-poison” it. And, as long as guys like Bannon, Sessions, Miller, and Kobach are calling the shots, that might never happen.

As some have suggested, perhaps the President and his advisors need a type of “Executive Miranda Warnings” before they shoot off their mouths (or their Twitters) in public: “Everything you say (or Tweet) can and will be used against you.”

The next stop for “Travel Ban 2.0” probably will be the 9th Circuit. But, since the Administration already lost there on its appeal of the TRO in State of Washington v. Trump, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the 9th Circuit to lift the TRO. Like President Obama with the “DAPA Fiasco,” President Trump is learning that U.S. District Judges wield considerable power in our system.  As one of my colleagues once said, “U.S. District Judges are the last living potentates.”

None of this bodes well for the Administration’s next ill-advised plan — to ramp up removals, increase the use of immigration detention, maximize “expedited removal,” and reduce what’s left of the U.S. Immigration Court to the equivalent of two-shift assembly line workers churning out removal orders. Chances are that the Article III Courts are going to have something to say about that too. And, unless the Administration moderates its approach, it’s not likely to be anything they like.

PWS

03/15/17

 

 

Trump Mulls Travel Ban Options — Rewrite of Exec Order Possible — Might Forego Request For Supremes’ Intervention Now!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-considers-rewriting-trumps-immigration-order/2017/02/10/ddcf5a6a-efb5-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_trumpban-408pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.c2de193b26a6

From the Washington Post:

“President Trump said Friday that he is considering rewriting his executive order temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country, indicating that the administration may try to quickly restore some aspects of the now-frozen travel ban or replace it with other measures.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he would probably wait until Monday or Tuesday to take any action, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said several options — including taking the case to the Supreme Court — were still on the table.

Trump hinted that the ongoing legal wrangling might move too slowly for his taste, though he thought he would ultimately prevail in court.”

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Many commentators have suggested that the Administration could have avoided most of the constitutional issues that have bothered the courts by simply making the order applicable solely to those abroad who have not been admitted to the U.S. as refugees or with visas.

The Solicitor General’s Office at the DOJ (even though there is no appointed “SG” for now, there are plenty of career “Supreme Court pros” on the staff) doesn’t like to “look bad” before the Supreme Court. Normally, the Solicitor General must approve and sign off on all Government filings before the Supreme Court.  It’s possible that the SG’s Office thinks that the Administration’s case is unlikely to prevail in its current posture, and is therefore trying to persuade the Administration not to file for Supreme Court review right now.

PWS

02/10/17

Matt Zapotsky in WashPost: “7 key take-aways from the court’s ruling on Trump’s immigration order”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/02/09/7-key-takeaways-from-the-courts-ruling-on-trumps-immigration-order/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_trumpban-takeaways-930pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.64ae82747f5

PWS

02/10/17

NYT: Administration Will Allow Iraqi Interpreters To Enter After All — Pentagon Comes To The Rescue Of U.S. War Allies

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/world/middleeast/trump-visa-ban-iraq-interpreters.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0

“BAGHDAD — The Trump administration amended its visa ban on Thursday to allow emigration by the families of Iraqi interpreters who served the United States government and military forces deployed in their country.

The change, recommended by the Pentagon, eased some of the anger generated in Iraq by President Trump’s executive order imposing the ban, which has stoked anxiety and confusion around much of the world since it was issued last week.

The order temporarily blocked all Syrian refugees from entering the United States and suspended visas for applicants from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq. It applied to holders of so-called Special Immigrant Visas issued to interpreters who worked for the United States during its 2003-11 occupation, often at great personal risk, and to their families.

In a statement about the change sent to The New York Times, a United States Embassy official in Baghdad said, “The U.S. government has determined that it is in the national interest to allow Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (S.I.V.) holders to continue to travel to the United States.” Iraqis who have received the visas, the statement said, may use them, and the “U.S. Embassy in Baghdad will continue to process and issue S.I.V.s to applicants who are otherwise qualified.”

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Wow! Why didn’t they just say that in the first place? Would have saved lots of trouble, heartache, and very bad publicity for the U.S. and the Administration. But, better late than never, I guess.

PWS

02/13/17