By Simret Aklilu
Less than two weeks after his inauguration, President Donald Trump signed an executive order last Friday, banning refugees and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria from entering the country for 120 days. People from seven countries, which are composed of predominantly Muslim citizens, were subject to the extreme vetting measures promised by Trump during his campaign once the arrived at airports.
But the executive order did not go uncontested by the public. Protest and marches erupted all around the United States calling for the Trump Administration to immediately rescind the executive order. People flooded airports in and around the nation chanting “No ban, No wall” and “No ban, No fear refugees are welcome here.”
Democratic leaders in both chambers of Congress like Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., took their opinions to social media as well as the streets with protesters calling the ban “un-American.”
The ambiguity surrounding certain aspects of the executive order threw the nation into a whirlwind of confusion. The Trump Administration failed to provide full disclosure to the Justice Department before enforcing the executive order. Moreover, Homeland Security was not given specific instructions on how to implement and enforce the ban which created a web of confusion for green card holders, student visa holders, and visa holders in general.
Approximately 48 hours after the ban was passed, Ann Donnelly, a federal judge who sits on the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, halted deportations of individuals from the seven Muslim majority countries who had filtered into US airports after the ban had been issued.
Judge Donnelly ruled that the order violated “rights to Due Process and Equal Protection guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”
Even though this temporarily gave immigrants, refugees and American’s a glimmer of hope, that hope was immediately snuffed out when a White House spokesperson defended the president’s order saying that it was within his constitutional powers.
“Saturday’s ruling does not undercut the President’s executive order. All stopped visas will remain stopped. All halted admissions will remain halted,” said the spokesperson. “All restricted travel will remain prohibited. The executive order is a vital action toward strengthening America’s borders, and therefore sovereignty. The order remains in place.”
Then again on February 3, a week after the executive order was issued, Bush-appointed federal judge, James Robart, issued a restraining order nationwide against the Muslim ban.
According to CNN, the State Department is currently coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security to see how this would affect operations.