One Year After the SCOTUS Ruling: Understanding the Muslim Ban and How We’ll Keep Fighting It


Understanding the Muslim Ban
and How We’ll Keep Fighting It

JUNE 2019

Prepared by No Muslim Ban Ever

Executive Summary

On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed his first Muslim ban, immediately impacting thousands of people around the world. This executive order banned entry into the United States for 90 days of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syrian, Sudan, and Yemen), banned the entry of all refugees for 120 days, and indefinitely banned the entry of all Syrian refugees. It was the first of many horrific discriminatory policies the Trump administration has implemented, and the mobilization among members of the public that followed in response was extremely powerful. Among the many xenophobic policies the Trump administration has implemented since January 2017 have been three additional iterations of the Muslim ban.

Each subsequent Muslim ban has had the same discriminatory intention of banning Muslims from the U.S., and each version was immediately followed by legal challenges. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court turned a blind eye to the Trump administration’s blatant bigotry when it allowed Muslim Ban 3.0 to go into full effect on June 26, 2018.

The administration has argued that under Muslim Ban 3.0 there is a mechanism for nationals from the banned countries to enter the U.S. by obtaining a waiver. Although Muslim Ban 3.0 does ostensibly contain a provision under which individuals may be considered for waivers, the way the Trump administration has implemented this provision makes clear that the waiver process is, in the words of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, merely “window dressing” — a mechanism intended to keep people out, not to let them in. The human impacts of this ban have been extremely heartbreaking. Families continue to be separated, people have been deprived of life-saving health care, and access to education and professional opportunities has been blocked.

Although the Supreme Court allowed Muslim Ban 3.0 to go into effect, the fight is not over. The No Muslim Ban Ever Campaign is supporting efforts in Congress and in the courts to (1) repeal the ban and (2) demand transparency and accountability for the waiver process, with the aim of exposing it as cover for the ban’s clearly discriminatory intent.[1] While transparency and accountability with respect to the waiver process is critical, the campaign remains ultimately dedicated to making sure that Congress repeals the ban and prevents future efforts like it.

The campaign created this report to bring awareness to these efforts and the distressing impacts of the ban. This report first examines the four iterations of the Muslim ban. It then discusses the flawed waiver system available under the current ban. This discussion is followed by sections dealing with both the ban’s direct impacts and its collateral consequences. The report concludes by setting out the No Muslim Ban Ever Campaign’s next steps.

The sources of the data compiled in this report include news articles, information gathered by several MASA organizations, the complaint in Jewish Family Service of Seattle v. Trump,[2] and the complaint in PARS Equality Center v. Pompeo.[3]

To download the report, click on the PDF icon, above.


  • Executive Summary
  • Timeline: All Iterations of the Muslim Ban
  • Summary of Each Version of the Muslim Ban
    • Muslim Ban 1.0
    • Muslim Ban 2.0
    • Muslim Ban 3.0
    • Muslim Ban 4.0
  • Waiver Process
    • Waiver Denials
    • Congressional Requests for Information
    • FY 19 Appropriations Amendment
    • Quarterly Report on Implementation of Muslim Ban 3.0
    • Waiver Litigation
  • Impacts of the Muslim Ban
    • Shaima Swileh (Yemen)
    • Nicolas Hanout (Syria)
    • Siraji Etha Siraji (Somali)
    • Afshin Raghebi (Iran)
    • John Doe #1 (Libya – PARS Equality Center)
    • John Doe #1 (Iraqi refugee – Jewish Family Service of Seattle)
    • Mahmood Salem (Yemen)
  • Collateral Consequences of the Muslim Ban
    • Slashing Annual Refugee Admissions
    • Visas Issued for Muslim-Majority Countries
    • The Rise in Hate Crimes Since Muslim Ban 1.0
  • Legislative Efforts to Repeal the Ban and Prevent Future Bans
  • Next Steps
  • The No Muslim Ban Ever Campaign
    • What Are the Campaign’s Goals?
  • Resources

To download the report, click on the PDF icon, above.


[1] Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (AAAJ-ALC), the Council on American Islamic Relations – San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA), MPower Change, and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), in partnership with a diverse coalition of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian (MASA) organizations and allies, lead a national campaign called the No Muslim Ban Ever Campaign in response to the Muslim ban. For more information about the campaign, see pp. 30–33 of the report.

[2] Jewish Family Service of Seattle v. Trump, No. 17-cv-01707JLR (W.D. Wash. filed Nov. 13, 2017). The Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief is available at More information at

[3] PARS Equality Center v. Pompeo, No. 18-cv-07818-JD (N.D. Cal. filed July 31, 2018). The Class Action Complaint is available at This lawsuit was filed to challenge the unlawful implementation of the Muslim ban waiver process, on behalf of plaintiffs that include One America and PARS Equality Center. More information at

The information provided in this document is a basic summary only and does not constitute legal advice. Every person’s situation is different. For legal advice, please contact an attorney. For more information regarding the Muslim bans, please contact Subha Varadarajan, Muslim Ban Legal and Outreach Fellow, at [email protected]. No Muslim Ban Ever is a project of Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, CAIR San Francisco Bay Area, MPower Change, and the National Immigration Law Center.