Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another setback for Trump's Muslim ban; AAPI leaders react

IN YET another setback for the Trump administration, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that his "travel ban" was unconstitutional and upheld the stay on its implementation.

Hawaii's Attorney General Doug Chin flashes a "hang loose" sign after the courts ruled against
the second Presidential executive order instituting a travel ban.

The trio of Ninth Circuit Judges -- Michael Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez — used narrow grounds to reject the Trump administration's bid to undo a  ruling of Derrick Kahala Watson of Hawaii's 3rd District Court blocking the temporary ban. It said the Republican president's March 6 order violated existing immigration law. 

Trump's Executive Order 2.0 did not tie citizens of the targeted countries -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- to terrorist organizations or contributors to “active conflict,” the court said. It also did not provide any link between their nationality and their propensity to commit terrorism.

“In short, the order does not provide a rationale explaining why permitting entry of nationals from the six designated countries under current protocols would be detrimental to the interests of the United States,” the panel said.

Because of the conflict with immigration law, the judges said they didn’t need to consider whether it also violated the Constitution’s prohibition on the government favoring or disfavoring any religion. The 4th Circuit found the policy unconstitutional on that basis.

Hawaii's Sen.Mazie K. Hirono, an immigrant and an outspoken opponent of the administration’s immigration policies, said, “Court after court has seen this Muslim Ban for what it is: an illegal attack on a group of individuals singled out for their religion. Today is a victory not only for Hawaii, but for our shared American values. The decision is a welcome reminder that the federal courts serve an invaluable function in our system of checks and balances.”

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin released the following statement after the ruling: “I stated from the beginning that the President must act in a way that follows the laws and Constitution of the United States. Our system of checks and balances, enshrined in the Constitution."

Fellow Democrat U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said, “The Ninth Circuit’s decision to uphold (U.S. District )Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling against President Trump’s Muslim ban is another win for the rule of law. The courts continue to affirm what we already know: the Muslim ban is un-American, unconstitutional, and contrary to everything we stand for.”

The 9th Circuit also kept blocking Trump’s suspension of the U.S. refugee program. The court said he was required to consult with Congress in setting the number of refugees allowed into the country in a given year and that he could not decrease it midyear.

The refugee program was not at issue in when the 4th Circuit also ruled against the executive order, the second attempt to implemtn a travel bay by the Trump administration.

"Another victory for American values. 9th Circuit confirms what we already know—the Pres' “travel ban” is really a discriminatory #MuslimBan," said Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

“Asian Pacific Americans have historically been targeted by exclusionary laws, giving us first-hand perspectives on the harms this order inflicts upon Muslim and immigrant communities. NAPABA’s community has stepped up to strongly oppose this attack on core American rights and values,” said Cyndie M. Chang, president of National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
"From the Chinese Exclusion Act and Japanese American incarceration to the Muslim Ban today, xenophobia has driven national policy in ways that fan the flames of irrational fear and hatred," said the Asian Americans Advancing Justice in a statement responding to the court decision. "The court’s decision today affirms America can and must do better than this."

The suits by Hawaii and the Maryland challengers argued that the executive order violated federal immigration law and a section of the Constitution's First Amendment that prohibits the government from flavoring or disfavoring any particular region.lly correct" version of his original one.

Attorneys for the state of Hawaii, who argued before the 9th Circuit, also filed with the Supreme Court on Monday a response to Donald Trump's asking the high court to hear the travel ban litigation and lift the blockades of the ban. The attorneys argued that lifting the blockade of the ban would spark "chaos and confusion," and also cited the president's most recent tweets championing the original travel ban.

Attorneys for the state of Hawaii, who argued before the 9th Circuit, also filed with the Supreme Court on Monday a response to Donald Trump's asking the high court to hear the travel ban litigation and lift the blockades of the ban. The attorneys argued that lifting the blockade of the ban would spark "chaos and confusion," and also cited the president's most recent tweets championing the original travel ban. 

The 9th Circuit's ruling also noted Trump's June 5 tweets calling the executive orders a "travel ban." Trump described the order as a "watered down, politically correct" version of his original order.
###