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Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde June 26, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court upholds Donald Trump’s travel ban

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump's third attempt to ban the entry of individuals from certain countries, affirming his executive authority to restrict immigration to the United States.

In a June 26 5-4 decision, the court held that "the President has lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him under §1182(f) to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States."

The court said that federal law entrusts to the president with decisions related to the entry of individuals: whether and when to suspend entry, whose entry to suspend, for how long and on what conditions.

The president need only determine "that the entry of the covered aliens 'would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.' The president has undoubtedly fulfilled that requirement here," the court said.

Critics of Trump's travel ban, which lists several Muslim-majority nations, labeled it as a Muslim ban. The Trump administration denied that assessment and said the proclamation was issued on national security grounds.

During the campaign, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslim entry into the United States, "until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on." His remark came after a Muslim couple killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif. The husband was born in the United States to Pakistani immigrants, and the wife was an immigrant born in Pakistan.

Trump's travel restrictions currently apply to nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela. (Chad was removed from the list in April.) The Trump administration has said nations can be added or removed from the travel ban based on their compliance with baseline requirements that United States requests for the vetting of potential entrants.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the court's decision, "leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a 'total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States' because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns."

Trump celebrated the decision tweeting: "SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!"

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that the ruling "confirms the legality" of Trump's executive actions and that the department will continue to execute immigration laws.

While the court found that Trump's proclamation squares within his presidential authority under immigration law, "it is limited to the facts of the case and should not have broad impacts on immigration law," said immigration law professor and dean of the UC Davis School of Law Kevin Johnson via email.

The court's decision does not extend Trump's executive powers over immigration law, Johnson said. "It merely says that the executive order is within the powers delegated by Congress," Johnson said.

David J. Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, said the decision "undermines a core principle of the U.S. immigration system since 1965: that the law will not discriminate against immigrants based on nationality or place of birth."

"The ban entirely lacks a reasonable basis in the facts. Nationals of the targeted countries have not carried out any deadly terrorist attacks in the United States, and they are not more likely to commit other crimes in the United States," Bier said via email. "Nor are their governments less able or willing than others to share information or adopt certain identity management protocols."

Trump's third version of the travel ban specifically was tailored based on national-security considerations, to which the court typically defers, said Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review.

"One can quibble with the policy judgments inherent in this executive action, but as a matter of law, the president—any president—gets a wide berth here," Shapiro said via email.

The Supreme Court's decision allows Trump to continue restricting the entry of certain nationals into the United States. Given the highest court's decision, we rate Trump's promise to suspend immigration from terror-prone places as Promise Kept.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde April 12, 2018

Trump administration removes Chad from travel ban list

The Trump administration said Chad will no longer be on a travel ban list because the African nation has met baseline requirements established by the United States to vet potential entrants.

Chad "has addressed previous deficiencies" and "made strides" in meeting requirements outlined in a September presidential proclamation, the Department of Homeland Security said April 10.

Travel restrictions are scheduled to be lifted April 13 for Chad nationals seeking to come to the United States as immigrants and nonimmigrants (on business, tourist, or business/tourist visas).

"By lifting travel restrictions on nationals of Chad, the United States is demonstrating that the criteria set forth in Proclamation 9645 can and do work to enhance the security of the United States," said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in an April 10 statement.

Administration officials did not provide updates on other travel restrictions on nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela.

The Trump administration has said countries land on the travel ban list when the foreign governments do not cooperate in verifying if its citizens pose national or public safety threats and if the countries don't adequately share public safety and terrorism-related information.

Chad's September addition to Trump's third travel ban mystified Chadians and analysts since the United States regards it as a partner in the fight against terrorism.

Chad's government in a September statement expressed "incomprehension in the face of the official reasons behind this decision."

The Associated Press in October reported that the reason behind the listing was that Chad lacked passport paper. Countries had been given 50 days to prove they met the United States' baseline requirements and to provide samples of its passports, but at the time Chad didn't have the paper and couldn't comply, the Associated Press reported. The Department of Homeland Security back then told the Associated Press that while it lacked a recent sample from Chad of its passports, there were other problems, too.

The Trump administration has said that countries can be removed from the travel ban list as they comply with information. Likewise, other nations can be added to the list if they fall short of the requirements.

We continue to rate Trump's promise to suspend immigration from terror-prone places as In the Works.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde December 5, 2017

Supreme Court allows Trump’s third travel ban as litigation continues in lower courts

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed President Donald Trump's third directive restricting the entry of nationals from certain countries to go into full effect while lower appeals courts review the president's order.

Trump in September issued restrictions on the entry of nationals from Chad, Yemen, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Iran and Somalia. The restrictions varied by country, and U.S. officials said they would be lifted as the countries provided information needed by the United States to vet potential entrants.

Federal district judges in Maryland and Hawaii prevented the full implementation of the ban after opponents argued that it violated immigration laws against discrimination and protections in the Constitution. Lawyers for the Trump administration appealed both cases, which are now before the Fourth and Ninth circuit courts of appeal.

U.S. Supreme Court justices on Dec. 4 granted a stay on the district judges' orders, pending resolution of the government's appeals.

A White House official said the administration believed its appeals would succeed.

"We are not surprised by today's Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the president's proclamation limiting travel from countries presenting heightened risks of terrorism," White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters aboard Air Force One on Dec. 4. "The proclamation is lawful and essential to protecting our homeland. We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts."

Given the U.S. Supreme Court's orders allowing the ban to be implemented while lower courts review the president's actions, we move this promise from Stalled to In the Works.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde October 17, 2017

Federal judge blocks Donald Trump’s third travel ban

A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked President Donald Trump's third travel ban, his latest efforts to stop immigration from a handful of countries in the Middle East and Africa.

A Sept. 24 presidential proclamation outlined U.S. entry restrictions for nationals from Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iran and Somalia (countries that were in previous travel bans), and added to the list nationals from Chad and North Korea as well as some Venezuelan government officials. The restrictions were to begin on Oct. 18.

Sudan, included in earlier travel bans, was removed from the list.

Administration officials previously said travel restrictions would be placed on nationals from the eight countries due to the foreign governments' inability to meet the United States' baseline of required information to vet potential entrants. The restrictions varied per country and did not have an end date.

The U.S. government said the limitations would be removed as the countries complied with information to help corroborate the identity of foreign nationals.

The plaintiffs included the state of Hawaii; Ismail Elshikh, imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii; the Muslim Association of Hawaii and two other plaintiffs, John Doe 1 and John Doe 2. The lawsuit sought a nationwide temporary restraining order on Trump's Sept. 24 directive. They alleged Trump's order violated the Immigration and Nationality Act's prohibition of nationality-based discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas.

A federal judge in the district of Hawaii, Derrick K. Watson, granted the temporary restraining order on Oct. 17. The lawsuit did not seek to enjoin the ban on North Koreans or Venezuelan government officials.

Watson found that "by indefinitely and categorically suspending immigration" from Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Chad, Trump "attempts to do exactly what Section 1152 prohibits." That section of federal law prohibits visa issuance discrimination based on nationality.

Watson also said that Trump's order had "internal incoherencies that markedly undermine its stated 'national security' rationale." Some countries that did not meet the U.S. baseline requirements were left off the ban, while other countries that did meet the requirements were included, Watson said.

This is not the first time Watson has checked Trump's executive power. On March 15, Watson granted a temporary restraining order blocking Trump's second travel ban from going into effect.

The March order was eventually escalated to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to review lower courts' rulings and to allow parts of Trump's order to go into effect. (The Supreme Court canceled scheduled October hearings for the March order after Trump issued his Sept. 24 proclamation. The court asked lawyers for briefs by Oct. 5 on the effect of Trump's new proclamation.)

In a statement, the White House vowed to defend Trump's order after Watson's Oct. 17 ruling.

"Today's dangerously flawed district court order undercuts the President's efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States. The Department of Justice will vigorously defend the President's lawful action," the statement said.

The Department of Homeland Security in a statement also said it had worked "tirelessly" in the development of baseline information sharing requirements to ensure that its vetting and screening procedures ensure the safety of Americans.

"These requirements are essential to securing the homeland. While we will comply with any lawful judicial order, we look forward to prevailing in this matter upon appeal," said Elaine Duke, DHS acting secretary.

Watson blocked Trump's latest travel ban from going into effect on Oct. 18.

Given the court's ruling, we rate Trump's promise to suspend immigration from terror-prone places as Stalled. ​

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde September 26, 2017

Trump sets new, indefinite travel restrictions

President Donald Trump has issued a new set of restrictions for certain foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States, citing national security concerns.

A Sept. 24 proclamation restricts the admission of nationals from Chad, Yemen, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Iran and Somalia. Restrictions vary per country. Administration officials did not put an end date to the limitations, saying they will be lifted once the countries comply with information the United States needs in order to vet potential entrants.

The restrictions come after administration officials conducted a worldwide review of the information countries provide on their nationals. The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and National Intelligence director, created a "baseline" determining the minimum information the United States needs from foreign governments to corroborate the identity of people seeking to come in and whether they are security or public safety threats.

The countries in the new travel ban failed to meet the baseline requirements, said senior administration officials. Trump's proclamation said Somalia satisfied information-sharing requirements of the baseline, but other deficiencies and its label as a terrorist safe haven called for travel restrictions. Venezuela met many of the baseline standards, but its government does not cooperate in verifying if its citizens pose national or public safety threats and does not adequately share public safety and terrorism-related information, the proclamation said.

Travel restrictions for nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as outlined in Trump's March 6 executive order, expired Sept. 24. (The U.S. Supreme Court exempted from the March travel ban nationals who had a credible bona fide relationship with a U.S. person or entity.)

But the new restrictions took effect on Sept. 24 for the countries in that March order, except for those who proved a bona fide relationship.

Restrictions for countries not listed in the March directive (Chad, North Korea and Venezuela) will go into effect Oct. 18. Nationals from the countries in Trump's March directive who have a bona fide relationship will also be subject to the restrictions starting Oct. 18.

Nationals from Sudan are no longer subject to travel restrictions.

And while Iraq did not meet the baseline, its nationals will only be subject to additional vetting but not travel restrictions. Iraq was left off of the list due to its cooperation with the United States to combat terrorism and because of the United States' diplomatic and military presence in the nation.

Here's an overview of the new limitations, per Trump's proclamation:

Chad: suspended entry for immigrants, and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas;

Iran: suspended entry for immigrants and nonimmigrants, except for nationals under valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas, but they'd be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements;

Libya: suspended entry for immigrants, and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visa;

North Korea: suspended entry for immigrants and nonimmigrants;

Syria: suspended entry for immigrants and nonimmigrants;

Venezuela: suspended entry for officials of Venezuelan government agencies involved in screening and vetting procedures, including the Ministry of the Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Immigration; the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigation Service Corps; the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service; and the Ministry of the Popular Power for Foreign Relations -- and their immediate family members, as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas.

Yemen: suspended entry for immigrants, and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas;

Somalia: suspended entry for immigrants, visa adjudications for nonimmigrants subject to additional scrutiny.

The U.S. Supreme Court canceled Oct. 10 oral arguments for Trump's travel ban and asked lawyers on both sides to file briefs by Oct. 5 on the effect of Trump's new proclamation.

Trump has taken new measures to suspend immigration from some terror-prone places. We continue to rate this promise In the Works.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde July 20, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court exempts grandparents from travel ban, restricts refugee admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court on July 19 ordered a partial victory for President Donald Trump's travel ban — it allowed the administration to block certain refugees from coming in, but it also permitted a lower court's ruling to expand the categories of family members who can enter the country.

Trump's travel ban — which denied entry to people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — went into partial effect June 29.

Courts have made several rulings in recent weeks. Earlier, the Supreme Court said the Trump administration could not ban everyone from those countries, but only those who did not have a "bona fide relationship" with individuals or entities in the United States. For instance, a foreign individual who has "a close familial relationship" with someone in the United States should be allowed in, the Court said.

In response, the Trump administration issued a list of who fit that criteria, such as children, parents and spouses, but it omitted grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Hawaii challenged that list, and a Hawaii district court judge ruled in its favor, allowing more family members to be exempt from the ban.

"Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family member. The government's definition excludes them. That simply cannot be," wrote U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson.

After Watson's ruling, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to clarify. On July 19, the Supreme Court denied that request, effectively allowing Watson's ruling to stand.

However, the Supreme Court stayed part of Watson's ruling related to refugees, allowing the Trump administration to ban some refugees who were in the process of resettling but were not yet in the United States.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the overall legality of the travel ban in October. Since Trump's travel ban is still in effect, at least partially, we continue to rate this promise In the Works.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde June 30, 2017

Trump’s travel ban to take partial effect, administration defines 'bona fide relationship'

President Donald Trump's administration has determined which kind of family members can claim a "bona fide relationship" with individuals in the United States and seek entry into the country.

The determination comes after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to allow the president to implement his travel ban, but to exclude from it "foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

The partial ban is expected to go into effect June 29 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

William Cocks, a spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, told PolitiFact that to qualify as a bona fide relationship, that connection "must be a close familial relationship."

Below is who is covered by that "close familial relationship," per State Department:

• a parent (including parent-in-law);

• spouse;

• child;

• adult son or daughter;

• son- and daughter-in-law;

• sibling, "whether whole or half," including step relationships; and,

• fiancé(e).

Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins do not qualify.

Regarding claims of a bona fide relationship with a U.S. entity, such relationships "must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading the executive order," Cocks said.

Given the Trump administration's ability to partially implement the ban, we continue to rate this promise In the Works.

This post has been updated to reflect that the Trump administration has added fiancé(e) to the categories of individuals excluded from the ban.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde June 26, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court accepts travel ban case, allows Trump’s order to partly take effect

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to review lower court rulings halting the implementation of President Donald Trump's travel ban, allowing his order to take effect in part.

Trump's Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to weigh in on preliminary injunction rulings made by courts in the Fourth and Ninth circuits and to stay such injunctions. On June 26, the Supreme Court accepted the cases and allowed the Trump administration to temporarily prevent the entry of foreign nationals from six countries if they have no ties to individuals or entities in the United States.

Trump issued an order in January and a revised one in March seeking to temporarily stop nationals from certain Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa from coming to the United States, citing national security concerns. The updated March order applied to nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also attempted to halt the entry of refugees and to lower the number of refugees to be admitted in fiscal year 2017, from 110,000 to 50,000. One of the claims made against Trump's orders is that they are discriminatory toward Muslims.

 The government's interest in enforcing Section 2 of the order (which outlines the temporary suspension) and the executive's authority in that regard are "undoubtedly at their peak when there is no tie between the foreign national and the United States," said an unsigned opinion on behalf of the court.

To stop the government from enforcing the order against foreign nations without a connection to the United States "would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else," the court said.

Still, Trump's directive "may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," the court said. 

Trump called the Supreme Court's decision a "clear victory for our national security" and said he was "particularly gratified that the Supreme Court's decision was 9-0."

"It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective," Trump said in a statement.

The Department of Homeland Security also issued a statement saying the Supreme Court had allowed the department to "largely implement" Trump's order.

"The granting of a partial stay of the circuit injunctions with regard to many aliens abroad restores to the executive branch crucial and long-held constitutional authority to defend our national borders," the statement said, adding that the implementation would be done professionally and "with clear and sufficient public notice."

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch partly concurred and dissented. In an opinion, Thomas, joined by Alito and Gorsuch, said that he would have stayed in full the preliminary injunctions and allowed the Trump orders to proceed.

"Today's compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding — on peril of contempt — whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country," Thomas wrote. 

Until the case is fully resolved, the court's June 26 decision will "invite a flood of litigation" related to the determination of what exactly amounts to a "bona fide relationship," who has credible claims, and whether such relationships were created just to avoid entry denial, Thomas said.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case in October.

This is the first bit of good news for Trump, who has been trying to keep this promise since taking off. As such, we move this promise to In the Works.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde June 12, 2017

9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules against Trump’s travel ban

Another federal court has ruled against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on June 12 said that while the Immigration and Nationality Act grants the president broad powers to control who comes into the country and to protect Americans, "immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show."

"The president's authority is subject to certain statutory and constitutional restraints. We conclude that the president, in issuing the executive order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress," the ruling said.

Trump's directive seeks to temporarily halt the entry of refugees from all parts of the world and of individuals from six countries in the Middle East and Africa, based on national security concerns. The order also attempted to lower the cap of refugees admitted in fiscal year 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000.

At a press briefing after the ruling was issued, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the administration is reviewing the court's opinion and remains confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately rule in the president's favor.

The Justice Department has already asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a separate ruling — from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals — which also blocked parts of Trump's executive order.

"I think we can all attest that these are very dangerous times and we need every available tool at our disposal to prevent terrorists from entering the United States and committing acts of bloodshed and violence," Spicer said June 12. "We continue to be confident that the president's executive order to protect this country is fully lawful and ultimately will be upheld by the Supreme Court."

The 9th Circuit said the law requires the president to find that the entry of a class of aliens "would be detrimental to the interests of the United States" and that Trump's order failed to do that.

 "The order makes no finding that nationality alone renders entry of this broad class of individuals a heightened security risk to the United States," the court said.

Regarding the entry of refugees, the court said Trump's order "does not reveal any threat or harm" that would warrant the suspension of the refugee program; "does not support the conclusion that the entry of refugees in the interim time period would be harmful;" and does not indicate that procedures for vetting and screening are inadequate.

The 9th Circuit's decision halts the implementation of Trump's order. We continue to rate this promise Stalled.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde May 26, 2017

4th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds block on Trump’s travel ban

A federal appeals court on May 25th kept in place a block on President Donald Trump's executive order seeking to temporarily suspend the entry of nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries.

In a 10-3 decision, judges in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower district court's decision to halt parts of Trump's March 6 executive order. The order intended to temporarily stop the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Trump's directive has been challenged for numerous claims, including that it violates constitutional protections against discrimination.

While Congress gives the president broad power to deny entry to immigrants, "that power is not absolute," Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory wrote in an opinion for the court. 

"It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation," Gregory wrote. 

Trump's executive order "in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination," the ruling from the Richmond, Va.-based court said. 

Judges took into consideration presidential campaign statements made by Trump regarding a "Muslim ban."

The Justice Department "strongly disagrees" with the decision and plans to escalate the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement May 25.

Three judges dissented, including Judge Paul V. Niemeyer, who wrote that considering Trump's campaign statements is "unprecedented and unworkable." 

Separately, a decision is pending from another case in the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judges there are reviewing a decision from a lower court which also halted Trump's executive order.

In light of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming the block on Trump's executive order, we continue to rate Trump' promise to suspend immigration from terror-prone places as Stalled.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde March 16, 2017

Federal judge blocks Trump’s revised travel ban

President Donald Trump's second attempt to suspend travel from countries in the Middle East and Africa has been blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii, shortly before becoming effective.

The State of Hawaii and Ismail Elshikh challenged Trump's new March 6 executive order, seeking a nationwide temporary restraining order to prohibit the implementation of sections of Trump's order.

According to the lawsuit, Elshikh is a Hawaii resident and American citizen of Egyptian descent, whose mother-in-law, a Muslim and Syrian national without a visa, would be prevented in the short-term from coming to the United States under a section of Trump's order, unless granted a waiver.

On March 15, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson granted the temporary restraining order.

The court concluded that the plaintiffs "have met their burden of establishing a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim, that irreparable injury is likely if the requested relief is not issued, and that the balance of the equities and public interest counsel in favor of granting the requested relief."

Trump's executive order was scheduled to take effect March 16.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs say that to single out nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries––Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen––Trump's order "causes harm by stigmatizing not only immigrants and refugees, but also Muslim citizens of the United States."

The State of Hawaii and Elshikh also noted comments made by Trump, his close supporters and advisors, such as:

- Trump's false claim that if you're from Syria and you're a Christian, you cannot come into he United States;

Rudy Giuliani's comments to Fox News saying Trump called him asking to put together a commission to "legally" do a Muslim ban;

Stephen Miller's comments to Fox News that the new order would "have the same basic policy outcome for the country."

The plaintiffs also claim Trump's executive order subjects portions of Hawaii's population to discrimination and denies them their right "to associate with family members overseas on the basis of their religion and national origin."

Elshikh, Imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii and a leader within Hawaii's Islamic community, also believes that he and other Muslims will not be able to "associate as freely with those of other faiths" because of the new executive order.

"This is a major setback for President Trump," said Cornell University Law School professor Stephen Yale-Loehr. "The travel ban litigation will continue for a long time, and could reach the Supreme Court."

Trump's promise to suspend immigration from terror-prone places has once again been blocked by courts. We rate this promise Stalled.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde March 7, 2017

Trump signs new executive order replacing directive challenged by courts

President Donald Trump has revoked and replaced an executive order related to the admission of nationals from countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The new executive order dated March 6 — bearing the same title as a Jan. 27 order, "Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States" — stops the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days "subject to categorical exceptions and case-by-case waivers."

Trump's new order does not extend to Iraqi nationals, as the previous one did, due to close cooperation between the United States and Iraqi governments, Trump administration officials said.

"The Iraqi government has expressly undertaken steps to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the return of Iraqi nationals subject to final orders of removal," the executive order said. "Decisions about issuance of visas or granting admission to Iraqi nationals should be subjected to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants have connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations, or otherwise pose a risk to either national security or public safety."

The order also suspends for 120 days entry under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, but unlike the previous order, does not single out Syrian refugees for indefinite admission. An overview on the old and revised executive orders is available here.

Trump's order lists specific reasons why nationals from the six countries will be temporarily banned from entering the country. Iran, Sudan and Syria make the list because they are designated as state sponsors of terrorism. Libya is on the list because it is an active combat zone with extremist groups expanding within the country. Somalia is on the list because portions of the country "have been terrorist safe havens" and "most countries do not recognize Somali identity documents." Trump officials list Yemen because of ongoing internal conflict and because terrorist groups have expanded their presence within the country.

"In light of the conditions in these six countries, until the assessment of current screening and vetting procedures required by section 2 of this order is completed, the risk of erroneously permitting entry of a national of one of these countries who intends to commit terrorist acts or otherwise harm the national security of the United States is unacceptably high," the March 6 order said.

Trump's new order comes in response to court challenges. Does the new one resolve previous challenges?

"The revised executive order will not quell litigation or concerns," said Cornell University Law School professor Stephen Yale-Loehr. "U.S. relatives will still sue over the inability of their loved ones to join them in the United States. U.S. companies may sue because they cannot hire needed workers from the six countries. And U.S. universities will worry about the impact of the order on international students' willingness to attend college in the United States. In sum, the immigration controversy will continue."

Trump's new executive order becomes effective March 16.

With Trump again seeking to suspend immigration from terror-prone places, we rate this promise In the Works.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde February 22, 2017

Courts currently blocking Trump’s executive order

Courts have blocked the implementation of President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily suspending the entry into the United States of refugees and travelers from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Trump said his executive order was created to "protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States."

However, several states challenged the order, claiming it violates religious liberties guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Many immigrant rights activists and Democratic lawmakers also called the order a Muslim ban because it focused on Muslim-majority nations (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.)

On Feb. 1, Washington and Minnesota filed a lawsuit in district court contending that Trump's order separated families, harmed thousands of the state residents, damaged their economies and undermined the states' "sovereign interest in remaining a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees."

On Feb. 3, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart, in Seattle, granted a nationwide temporary restraining order on Trump's order, favoring Minnesota and Washington states. Robart's decision concluded that there would be more harm in allowing the ban to continue then to block it.

After Robart's ruling, Trump tweeted: "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"

Trump's Justice Department filed a motion appealing the district court's decision and seeking to resume the travel ban.

"The injunction immediately harms the public by thwarting enforcement of an Executive Order issued by the president, based on his national security judgment," the motion said. "As the President acted well within both statutory and constitutional authorization, the relief irreparably harms our system of government by contravening the Constitution's separation of powers."

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the motion. But it asked both the states and the Justice Department for briefs in support and opposition for the emergency motion. On Feb. 9, in a 3-0 decision the Ninth Circuit affirmed the Seattle judge's decision to halt Trump's order nationwide.

That prompted another Trump tweet: "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"

On Feb. 12, Trump tweeted that 72 percent of refugees admitted into United States between Feb. 3 and Feb. 11 were from the seven countries outlined in his executive order. We rated that Mostly True.

The Trump administration has since said it plans to introduce a new executive order.

On Feb. 19, John Kelly, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said Trump was "contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version" of the initial executive order.

At this point, the order may be appealed to the Supreme Court, or the Trump administration may soon release a new executive order designed to address the courts' concerns. Given the court's halt of Trump's executive order, however, we rate this promise Stalled.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde January 30, 2017

Trump signs executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven countries

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Jan. 27 temporarily halting the entry into the United States of people from seven countries impacted by terrorism.

The order suspended immigration for 90 days for nationals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Trump also paused admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely stopped the entry of refugees from Syria, where years of civil war has reportedly killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions.

The executive order classified Syrian refugees as detrimental to the national interest. Trump said he would suspend their entry until he has determined that sufficient changes have been made to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

Trump's action spurred protests at airports across the nation rallying in support of immigrants and refugees. Chaos and confusion also unfolded regarding the implementation of Trump's order, with immigration and civil liberties lawyers fighting for the release of individuals who had been detained upon arrival to the United States. A federal judge in New York ruled a stay on part of Trump's order to prevent the deportation of people who had just landed in the United States.

Trump's order said the "visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States," referencing the 9/11 terrorist attack perpetrators who came to the United States through visas.

A notice posted on the State Department's website Jan. 27 said it had stopped issuing visas to nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen until further notice.

But some scholars and ethics experts quickly pointed out that Trump's travel ban does not extend to other countries whose citizens have attacked Americans, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. And it also leaves out places where the Trump company has business dealings.

Some of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A woman from Pakistan and her U.S.-born husband killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., in December 2015.

"Those countries are harder to push around," the New York Times reported Jan. 27. "Pakistan has nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia is a major source of oil, and the United Arab Emirates is a major source of investment. Mr. Trump's company has a golf club in Dubai and holdings related to a possible hotel venture in Saudi Arabia."

Citing terrorism concerns, the State Department has recently issued warnings and alerts for travel to Europe, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and several other nations not mentioned in Trump's executive order.

Back in June 2016, Trump promised: "When I'm elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we fully understand how to end these threats."

Trump's action suspends immigration from some terror-prone nations, but is not all inclusive. Until Trump uniformly suspends immigration from all terror-prone countries, we rate this promise In the Works.

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde January 20, 2017

Suspend immigration from terror-prone places

When campaigning for the White House, Donald Trump raised concerns about people coming to the United States from parts of the world impacted by terrorism.

He challenged the United States' ability to vet who comes into the country, describing the immigration system as "dysfunctional" and claiming it fails to protect the citizenry.

A Trump administration, he said, would exercise "extreme vetting," especially from war-torn Syria.

"I want extreme. It's going to be so tough, and if somebody comes in that's fine, but they're going to be good. It's extreme," Trump said in Phoenix in August 2016. "And if people don't like it, we've got to have a country folks. Got to have a country. Countries in which immigration will be suspended would include places like Syria and Libya. And we are going to stop the tens of thousands of people coming in from Syria."


In response to terrorism attacks and threats across the world and on U.S. soil, Trump said the United States needs to toughen its admissions process.

Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims coming into the country a few days after a husband and wife — the man, a U.S. citizen born to Pakistani parents, and the woman, an immigrant from Pakistan — killed 14 people and injured 22 others in San Bernardino, Calif., in December 2015.

He reaffirmed this stance after another terrorist attack in an Orlando nightclub in June 2016, when a U.S. citizen born to Afghan parents killed 49 people and wounded more than 50.

"I called for a ban after San Bernardino, and was met with great scorn and anger but now, many are saying I was right to do so — and although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on," Trump said on June 13, 2016. "The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country."


Trump said he would ask the Homeland Security, Justice and State departments to list "regions and countries from which immigration must be suspended until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put in place."

His administration would stop issuing visas to people in places "where adequate screening cannot occur," he said.

Section 212 (f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows the president to "suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate," whenever the president finds that their entry "would be detrimental to the interests of the United States."

During the campaign, Trump particularly criticized the arrival of Syrian refugees, but refugees do not get visas to come to the United States. They undergo a different vetting and paperwork process.

Still, Trump as president will have the legal authority to limit refugee admissions.

Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act says the president shall determine the number of refugees who may be admitted per fiscal year. The president is to make such decision before the start of a fiscal year and after consulting the House and Senate judiciary committees.


Trump has not outlined cost estimates for this promise. In a CBS Face the Nation interview in October 2015, Trump said he would offer financial support to create a safe zone in Syria for people afflicted by war, instead of letting them come into the United States.

"I would help them economically, even though we owe $19 trillion," Trump said Oct. 11, 2015, not specifying the extent of that help. "What I won't do is take in 200,000 Syrians who could be ISIS."


Legally, Trump has the authority to limit and suspend admissions of foreigners into the United States.

"Whether such a broad use of that statutory power would be wise is another question," said Stephen Legomsky, professor emeritus at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and a former chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. "All immigrants to the United States are already checked against an array of intelligence and law enforcement databases. The procedures for screening overseas refugees — the main focus of Mr. Trump's remarks — are especially rigorous and contain additional safeguards in the case of Syrians."

Refugee vetting also already takes one to two years.

"This point is often lost, as some people wrongly point to European terrorism as evidence that refugees pose similar risks in the United States," Legomsky said. "The difference is that the millions of refugees who have arrived in Europe from Africa and the Middle East have traveled by land or by sea without any previous vetting; because of the geographic differences, the refugees whom the U.S. admits from overseas are rigorously vetted before they set foot in the United States."


Provisions under the Immigration and Nationality Act would allow Trump to legally bar the admission of all nationals of Syria or any other country immediately after taking office and without further congressional action, Legomsky said.

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