The Fight Continues: What Muslim Ban 3.0 Means in the Courts and in the Streets
By Subha Varadarajan, NILC Muslim and Refugee Ban Legal and Outreach Fellow
October 13, 2017
There’s a new ban that prevents Muslims from coming to the U.S. On September 24, 2017, the day that the 90-day ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) was set to expire, the Trump administration issued Muslim Ban 3.0. The new ban came just days before the U.S. Supreme Court was scheduled to hear argument in two cases challenging Muslim Ban 2.0, one of which is Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), which was brought by the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU’s Immigrants Rights Project, and the ACLU of Maryland.
Muslim Ban 3.0 is a revision of the 2.0 version. It removes Sudan from the list of countries whose citizens and longtime residents are banned from traveling to the U.S. and adds Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela (by adding certain restrictions to their citizens’ travel). Another change is that it doesn’t ban refugees as the earlier bans did, though it’s worth noting that the president recently slashed the number of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. in fiscal year 2018 to a 30-year low of 45,000, down from 110,000.
But what remains the same is the discriminatory and unconstitutional intent behind the ban. And, according to the presidential proclamation that created it, the ban is permanent. The Trump administration can camouflage—but can’t hide—its intent of banning Muslims by simply tweaking different versions of the ban again and again. And again.
What happened to Muslim Ban 2.0?
After the 2.0 version’s 90-day ban on nationals from Muslim-majority countries expired and Muslim Ban 3.0 was announced, the Supreme Court canceled oral arguments, originally scheduled for October 10, 2017, in the two cases challenging Muslim Ban 2.0 and ordered the parties in the cases to brief whether the cases still have a live controversy. On the day it was supposed to have heard oral arguments on Muslim Ban 2.0, the Supreme Court dismissed Trump v. IRAP as moot on the ground that the 90-day ban had expired. The Court also vacated the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion ruling Muslim Ban 2.0 unconstitutional and made a point of saying that it was not making any decision on the merits of the ban.
The Supreme Court did not issue a decision in the other Muslim ban case before it, Trump v. Hawaii. That case directly addresses the 120-day ban on refugees, which doesn’t expire until October 24, 2017, at which point it’s possible that the Court will issue a similar decision dismissing the case as moot.
We’re disappointed that the Supreme Court dismissed our case. The everyday harm and impact of Muslim Ban 2.0 continues, so it doesn’t feel moot at all to people from the banned countries or their loved ones. But at the end of the day, we’ll keep fighting.
What’s next for Muslim Ban 3.0? Back to the U.S. district court
Shortly after the administration issued Muslim Ban 3.0, we amended our original court complaint about Muslim Ban 2.0 so we can ask the U.S. district court judge to block the new ban before it is slated to go into full effect on October 18. This Monday, October 16, 2017, we’ll be going before the district court in Maryland, where we filed our Muslim Ban 2.0 case, to do just that. While we don’t know what will happen on Monday, we are prepared to fight Muslim Ban 3.0 all the way to the Supreme Court.
How to be part of fighting Muslim Ban 3.0
As our legal fight against Muslim Ban 3.0 winds its way through the courts, it’s important that we continue to stay engaged in fighting this and every other version of a Muslim ban. This ban is part of this administration’s broader and hateful agenda that is relentless in promoting xenophobia and white supremacy.
To fight back, we invite you to check out what’s been happening nationwide as part of the No Muslim Ban Ever campaign, including events, dialogues, and actions as well as information about how you can join us on October 18 in Washington, DC, for the rally and march starting at 11:30 a.m.
Will you join us? We’re counting on you to stand with us in this fight!