January 20, 2017: a new President was sworn into office.
The following day, Boston, Sydney, Berlin, Paris, London, and of course Washington D.C filled their streets expressing their frustrations on the dreadful promises made by the new President throughout his election campaign.
Only one week later, January 27, those promises began to see the light of day. That day, he released his first wave of executive orders.
With one of his first executive orders in place, he called for an immigration restriction on 7 Muslim countries (Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen) listed as if they were suddenly part of a wanted poster. With this executive order, he halted refugee admissions for 120 days, this included those with valid refugee status and reduced the cap of refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000. He also restricted Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely.
Trump defended his executive order as a way to not “let the wrong people in.”
And just like that, a nation-wide uproar began. Protests erupted worldwide. Marches in every major city in solidarity. ACLU dispatched lawyers to aid detainees.
What else was expected from a country founded on migrants?
That weekend (Jan 28-29), when dozens of travelers were being detained in U.S. airports or escorted off the plains before even arriving on U.S. soil, several judges made an attempt to block the ban, including New York-based US Judge Ann M. Donnelly and Boston-based US District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs.
On February 3, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle issued a temporary restraining order. This blocked the executive order for a small period of time, which would ease the restriction of travelers from those seven countries and stop the refugee resettlement attempt. Shortly following this restraining order, The White House appealed the restraining order to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit.
On February 9, the Ninth Circuit denied the Trump administration’s request to overturn the restraining order, which would reinstate the executive order.
On Monday, March 6, 2017, Trump offered a revised executive order, which would have been effective March 16, 2017. This new ban would continue restriction of refugee resettlement for 120 days and would restrict entry of nationals from six countries (Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) for 90 days.
In this new ban, Trump claimed he is fulfilling his duty to “protect the Nation from terrorist activities by foreign nationals admitted to the United States.”
Currently, the ban is awaiting hearings for a few appeals in May, including one held by Hawaiian U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who issued a nationwide halt against the travel ban on March 15. Initially, this block was designed to last two weeks. However, after meeting with a number of attorneys, the block has been extended.
Stay tuned for more updates on the rollercoaster that is the Trump administration.