The new version of the Muslim Ban is here. This time it includes 3 more countries.
The entry of immigrants from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad and North Korea are suspended indefinitely.
The entry of nonimmigrants from Iran is also suspended, with the exception of student visas (F and M visas), or exchange visitor visas (J visas). Travelers entering under these three visa categories will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements. Sudan has been taken off the list of countries.
A judge in Hawaii has temporarily blocked the latest version of the Trump administration travel ban just hours before it was set to take effect on October 18, saying that it “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor”. Judge Derrick K. Watson of Federal District Court in Honolulu wrote that the administration had failed to show a clear link between a person’s nationality and the threat he or she posed. The block will expire in 14 days.
US District Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Maryland also issued a preliminary injunction and extended his order to "individuals with a bona fide relationship with an individual or entity in the United States." Chuang has no expiration date. He initially had not ruled on the case, despite blocking Muslim Ban 2.0.
In his ruling he said “in August 2017, President Trump tweeted a statement that a method hostile to Islam — shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pig's blood — should be used to deter future terrorism, there is no record of public statements showing any change in the President's intentions relating to a Muslim ban."
He stated that the travel ban “imposed a permanent, rather than temporary, ban on immigrants from the Designated Countries, and has effectively stopped the issuance of immigrant visas indefinitely.”
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of six individuals in Maryland Courts by lawyers with Profeta & Eisenstein, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
“We need more information on the president’s decision to blacklist certain countries,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University when the center filed a lawsuit against the ban, “Given his repeated insistence that he wants to ban Muslims from the United States, we cannot take his word that the most recent version of the ban is motivated by national security considerations rather than prejudice.”
In 2003, Hafsa Kassim came to New York from Damt, Yemen for “a better life and education”.
Five years ago she was married to Sadek Al Murisi on a dry August evening in Damt, a place known for its mild climate and water filled volcano craters. Their marriage was facilitated through family. “I was scared to marry someone from there,” says Hafsah, but after meeting Sadek at her grandparent’s home, she was happy with the match.
She is a mom of an adorable 8-month-old- a baby who has never seen her father. He cannot come to United States because of the Muslim ban and the baby can't fly out because she cannot get a passport without her father. U.S. laws require that both parents give permission for a child to have a passport. Sadek is not able to give official permission as he needs to be at the U.S. Embassy to give it. They Embassy in Yemen is shuttered since 2015. In the cruel bundle of official redtape, the family has not yet celebrate the birth of their baby.
Hafsah’s sister, Ishraq, lives in Baltimore and is worried about her younger sister. Their father passed away when Hafsah was 5. The thought of Hafsah’s baby also growing up with her father breaks them.
Hafsah loves her husband, Sadek, and wants to be with him. "I cannot take her there. Yemen is in chaos. There are bombs and gunshots and sickness," laments Hafsah. “I have been trying to bring him here for a long while. The US immigration takes so long,’ she remarks. Hafsah says she meets other young women who are impacted as well at her masjid. The case filed in Maryland includes a plaintiff, Fahed Muqbil, whose wife is also of Yemeni origin who has also applied for an immigrant visa the proclamation will prevent her from getting. Muqbil and his wife have a child with severe birth defects and needs intensive treatment and surgery in the United States.
“This is the third attempt to ban Muslims from the United States,” said attornies at the Court house in Greenbelt, Md., urging a Maryland judge to block it. U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang didn’t pass a ruling initially. He had previously blocked a version of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targeting six predominantly Muslim countries.
Gadeir Abbas, senior litigation attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said at a news conference following the hearing that the proclamation "is fooling no one."
"The fact that this executive order is slightly different than the previous executive orders does not eliminate the clarity of the issue, and the clarity of the issue is that Donald Trump sought out to discriminate against Muslims and stigmatize Islam, and he has, in fact, done that," he said.
Last time Hafsah saw Sadek was July 10, 2016. She traces the stamp on his passport. 2016. “When I left Yemen I was pregnant,” says the young woman. Hafsah heard about the Muslim Ban two weeks ago, leaving her in a slump. “I was so happy I am being scheduled for interview,” she said. Then when the ban came out, it made everything so hard.
If Yemen wasn’t in the state of war, she thinks she would have been able to go back and live with him there. “How can I take the baby there? You wake up in morning you don’t know if you will be able to live,” she says. This Saudi-led war is politically and military supported by the United States, she added.
Of the eight countries targeted, six are Muslim-majority; North Korea has a negligible number of people who receive visas; and the application to Venezuela is extremely limited.
Certain nonimmigrants from Chad, Libya, Yemen and Venezuela will be permitted to enter, and Somali nationals will be subject to additional scrutiny.
The entry of nonimmigrants from Syria and North Korea is suspended without exception.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Muslim Advocates and Covington & Burling LLP, in collaboration with the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, also filed two lawsuits against the Trump administration’s latest efforts. According to Johnathan Smith, legal director of Muslim Advocates: “President Trump's latest Muslim ban remains as unjust and unlawful as the prior versions. Banning people because of their religion or national origin doesn't make our country safer; all it does is tear apart families and propagate bigotry and discrimination. Through these two legal filings today, we seek to hold this administration accountable and make clear that no one – including the President – is above the law."
Hafsah agrees that you shouldn’t have to file a lawsuit to see your husband, and wonders if that is what she will have to do to reunited with her loved one.