In January 2017, President Trump issued an executive order suspending the admission of all refugees into the United States for 120 days, indefinitely suspending the admission of all Syrian refugees, and suspending the issuance of visas for nationals of seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days.Exec. Order No. 13769, 82 Fed. Reg. 8,977 (January 27, 2017); Also see The White House, “Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” press release (Washington, DC: The White House, January 25, 2017).
The order was almost immediately blocked by a federal court.Temporary Restraining Order, State of Washington v. Trump, C17-0141JLR (W.D. Wash., Feb. 3, 2017), 5-6; Jim Brunner, Jessica Lee, and David Gutman, “Judge in Seattle Halts Trump’s Immigration Order Nationwide; White House Vows Fight,” Seattle Times, February 3, 2017, updated February 4, 2017. In response, Trump issued two subsequent orders that, among other changes, applied to different predominantly Muslim countries and added certain non-Muslim countries.Exec. Order No. 13780, 82 Fed. Reg. 13209 (March 6, 2017); Proclamation No. 9645, 82 Fed. Reg. 45161 (September 24, 2017); Ariane de Vouge, “Hawaii Judge Blocks Trump’s Latest Travel Ban,” CNN, October 18, 2017; and Pema Levy, “Two Federal Judges Block Trump’s Travel Ban,” Mother Jones, October 17, 2017. In October 2017, six states (California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington) filed or joined lawsuits opposing Trump’s third travel ban.See New York State Office of the Attorney General, “A.G. Schneiderman Challenges President Trump’s Third Travel Ban,” press release (Albany, NY: New York State Office of the Attorney General, October 12, 2017). The third version of the travel ban has been blocked by two federal district courts pending the outcome of the states’ challenge, and a federal appeals court heard arguments in the case in December 2017. Pema Levy, “Two Federal Judges Block Trump’s Travel Ban,” Mother Jones, October 17, 2017. These orders were also temporarily blocked by federal courts, but in December 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the most recent order to be enforced while lower courts decide its constitutionality.Order Granting Stay, Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance, No. 17A560 (December 4, 2017). Because of the visa ban and Trump’s continuing anti-Muslim rhetoric, these orders have been referred to by many people as “Muslim bans.”Amy B. Wang, “Trump Asked for a ‘Muslim Ban,’ Giuliani Says—And Ordered a Commission to Do it ‘Legally,’” Washington Post, January 29, 2017; and Clark Mindock, “Travel Ban: What is Trump’s Major Immigration Policy, and Why is it Called a ‘Muslim Ban’? All You Need to Know,” The Independent, December 5, 2017.