As the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Trump administration’s request for a stay on a restraining order on its travel ban issued by a Washington state judge earlier in the week, the future of the executive order is uncertain.
President Trump signed Executive Order 13769 Jan. 27 at the Pentagon. The order, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” placed a 90-day ban on all individuals with visas from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Additionally, it placed a 120-day moratorium on the admission of refugees from any country and an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria specifically.
All countries included in the order were marked as “countries or areas of concern” by the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama administration and were subject to restrictions under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The order specifically cites the Sept. 11 attacks as a justification for the proposed travel ban, although the home countries of the hijackers — Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates — were not included in the ban.
Immediately after its implementation, airports throughout the United States detained travelers. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer originally stated that 109 people were affected by the ban, but it was later reported that this statistic only included individuals who were traveling at the time the ban was implemented. The Department of Homeland Security reported that 940 people were not allowed to board planes bound for the U.S. as of Feb. 1.
On Jan. 28, Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an emergency stay blocking the section of the order that authorized the deportation of individuals with valid visas or refugee status. On Jan. 29, Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts ordered that individuals who would have legally been allowed to enter the United States prior to the implementation of the executive order — including refugees, permanent residents and visa holders — could not be detained or deported.
The White House changed a portion of its order Jan. 29, exempting permanent residents from the ban.
Cal Poly reacts to ban
Cal Poly students gathered to protest the immigration ban and border wall Feb. 1 concurrently with Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech at Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre. Many of the protesters were organized by the Cal Poly Student Collective and marched through campus, beginning and ending at Mott Lawn.
According to Cal Poly International Center Director Caroline Moore, the center contacted about 10 students affected by the ban as of Feb. 2.
California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White released a statement Jan. 30 signed by him and the presidents of every CSU condemning the order and expressing hopes that the Trump administration would reconsider. President Jeffrey Armstrong sent out a similar statement to Cal Poly students via email on Jan. 31.
“Like many others who have been speaking out, I am concerned that the ban is in opposition to our country’s values,” Armstrong said. “We are a nation of immigrants and indigenous peoples that represents hope, opportunity, liberty and freedom. It is my fervent desire that the level of peaceful protest and opposition we are seeing nationally and internationally will convince the new president and his administration to reconsider this policy.”
Fallout from ban within government
Yates was dismissed from her position by Trump Jan. 30 after instructing the Department of Justice not to defend the executive order in court. Yates was replaced by Dana Boente — a U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia — before the confirmation of Jeff Sessions to the office of Attorney General Feb. 9.
On Feb. 3, Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a restraining order prohibiting federal employees from enforcing the travel ban. The Justice Department filed for an emergency stay in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but this request was ultimately denied Feb. 9 by a three-judge panel in San Francisco.
After the decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told the Washington Post that the White House is considering appealing to the Supreme Court. Trump expressed this intention, tweeting:
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
However, the president then stated that he was considering filing a new executive order concerning immigration as early as Feb. 13.