President Donald Trump’s newly revised ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries is set to face three major court challenges today.
At 9:30 a.m. ET in Maryland, two refugee rights groups are challenging the ban with support from the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center. The plaintiffs in this case are asking the court to block the new order in its entirety.
At 3:30 p.m. ET the state of Hawaii, which was the first state to challenge the new ban, will participate in its own hearing. In this court case lawyers for Hawaii are arguing that the ban discriminates against Muslims, as well that the executive order would Harm Hawaii’s economy by disrupting tourism.
At 5 p.m. ET today, four U.S. citizens or permanent residents in Washington are set to go before Federal District Judge James Robart, who issued an order blocking much of the first travel ban that month, a ruling that was later upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In this case the plaintiffs will argue that access to visas for their family members would be disrupted by the revised policy.
Other cases challenging the travel ban are also taking place in California, Virginia and Wisconsin. Earlier this week, the new travel ban survived its first legal challenge when a federal judge rejected an effort by the states of Washington, New York and Oregon to apply the stay on the first travel ban to the new order.
Impact on Travel
In addition to the state of Hawaii’s argument that the new ban would disrupt its tourism industry, other travel industry organizations have been weighing in on what the new policy means. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has said that it is waiting to see how the policy will impact U.S. travel agents. In a recent press call ASTA SVP Government and Industry Affairs Eben Peck said, “I think we’re going to look at letting the dust from both bans settle a bit. Maybe a few months out we can get a read on this — is this having a real impact or are people just having an emotional reaction?”
ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby said that the organization would continue to “monitor the situation closely with an eye toward any impact on our members’ businesses, and will do everything possible to ensure member are kept up to date, able to serve their clients and prepare them for any disruptions that might occur.”
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), meanwhile, has released a poll showing that nearly four in 10 (37 percent) of its U.S. business travel agents expect “some level of reduction” in their company’s travel because of the new order.
The revised executive order bans travel from six Muslim-majority countries -- Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya – dropping Iraq, which was part of the original ban. The new order also suspends the United States’ refugee program for 120 days, and lowers the cap on refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 per year.
Other changes: travelers from the affected countries who are legal permanent residents of the United States, dual nationals who use a passport from another country and those who have been granted asylum or refugee status are exempt from the new order. Additionally, current visa holders will be able to get into the country, although those whose visas expire will have to reapply.