June 26, 2018: The Supreme Court issued its final ruling which completely dissolved the injunctions, allowing the ban to have full effect.  The Supreme Court found that the administration acted within the broad discretion granted to the President under the Immigration and Nationality Act to control the admission and exclusion of foreign nationals, and that the administration articulated a “facially legitimate and bona fide” reason for the ban on “national security” grounds that was sufficient to defeat challenges that the Proclamation was motivated by religious animus.  In simpler terms, the Court ruled that, although the ban arguably impacted rights of individuals on the basis of religion, the administration only had to show that it had a “facially legitimate and bona fide” reason for its actions, and the “national security” rationale they asserted was sufficient. 

September 27, 2017: A Presidential Proclamation which issued additional guidance on countries affected by the travel bans, based on an assessment of which countries had not yet submitted proof of security measures to the satisfaction of U.S. officials.  Sudan was dropped from the list, and Chad, North Korea and Venezuela were added.  (Iraq had been removed from the list in March 2017.)

Following these Presidential Orders, The U.S. Federal District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland ruled that the President’s actions likely exceeded his authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the courts issued nationwide injunctions preventing the government from enforcing the Executive Order and Proclamation. Those injunctions were upheld by the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals. The initial injunctions meant that the travel ban was fully suspended while the government petitioned the Supreme Court. 

June 26, 2017: The U.S. government filed an appeal from the injunctions with the Supreme Court, and were granted certiorari (meaning that they agreed to hear arguments and make a decision on the case.)  However, since the court knew that it would be months before they were able to fully consider the case, they issued an interim ruling which determined that the injunctions were too broad and needed to be limited.  The court said that the travel ban could not be enforced against a foreign national who has “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”  Foreign national from the listed countries who did not have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S. were subject to the ban.

March 6, 2017: President Trump issued an Executive Order which revoked the January 27th Order and replaced it with an Order that included most of the same restrictions, but which he argued, “expressly excludes from the suspensions categories of aliens that have prompted judicial concerns and which clarifies or refines the approach to certain other issues or categories of affected aliens.”  This Order covered nationals of the enumerated countries who “(i) [were] outside the United States on the effective date of [the) order and (ii) did not have a valid visa at 5:00 p.m., eastern standard time on January 27, 2017, and (iii) [did] not have a valid visa on the effective date of the order.” It is important to note that existing visas were not cancelled and people from the listed countries with valid visas prior to the effective dates were permitted to travel.

This Order maintained the suspension of refugee processing for 120 days and reduced the number of refugees the U.S. will admit from 100,000 to 50,000. 

January 27, 2017: President Trump signed an Executive Order that would “suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants” for 90 days for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia (with limited exceptions.)  In addition, this Order suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and suspended any Syria refugee admission indefinitely.  It also suspended the visa Interview Waiver Program, under which many people could previously obtain visa renewals with having to go to an interview.

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