Appeals court: Trump’s third attempt at travel ban is illegal

The president failed to make a "legally sufficient" finding that entry of those he wants to bar from entering the US would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

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A federal appeals court decided unanimously that President Trump’s third attempt at a travel ban is against the law.

The three-judge panel stated that the president failed to make a “legally sufficient” finding that entry of those he wants to bar from entering the US would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

The ban, which was issued in September, imposed “indefinite and significant restrictions and limitations on entry of nationals” from seven countries —  Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

The decision stated:

The Government’s interpretation of 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) not only upends the carefully crafted immigration scheme Congress has embodied in the INA, but it deviates from the text of the statute, legislative history, and prior executive practice as well. Further, the President did not satisfy the critical prerequisite Congress attached to his suspension authority: Before blocking entry, he must first make a legally sufficient finding that the entry of the specified individuals would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” The Proclamation once again conflicts with the INA’s prohibition on nationality-based discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas.

The decision attacks the president’s claim that he can do whatever he wants when it comes to banning people from entering the country:

The Government argues that the President, at any time and under any circumstances, could bar entry of all aliens from any country, and intensifies the consequences of its position by saying that no federal court—not a federal district court, nor our court of appeals, nor even the Supreme Court itself—would have Article III jurisdiction to review that matter because of the consular nonreviewability doctrine. Particularly in the absence of an explicit jurisdiction-stripping provision, we doubt whether the Government’s position could be adopted without running roughshod over the principles of separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution.

The ruling also states that Trump’s order “nullified” a federal immigration law passed by Congress and overrode “broad swaths of immigration laws that Congress has used its considered judgment to enact.”

The full ruling is available here.

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