Solicitor General Noel Francisco today notified the Supreme Court that President Donald Trump has issued a new proclamation restricting travel to the United States by citizens from eight countries. The proclamation came on the same day that part of Trump’s March 6 executive order (often known as the “travel ban”) expired, which would have allowed nationals of the six Muslim-majority countries covered by that order to come to the United States. Francisco suggested that the justices order the two sides to file additional briefs addressing the effect of today’s proclamation on the dispute over the March 6 order by October 5, five days before the scheduled oral argument, but the court could opt to substitute its own timetable instead.
The Trump administration had cited national-security concerns when it issued the March 6 order, which directed agencies in the federal government to freeze travel from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia and Libya to give the government time to evaluate the procedures that it used to vet travelers from those countries. Today’s order indicated that the U.S. government “has improved its capability and ability to assess whether foreign nationals attempting to enter the United States pose a security or safety threat.” “Our Nation,” Trump emphasized, “is safer as a result of this work.” However, Trump continued, several countries “remain deficient.” Until these deficiencies are corrected, Trump explained, the entry into the United States of nationals from eight countries – Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria (all of which were covered by the March 6 order), along with North Korea, Venezuela and Chad (which were not covered by the order) – will be restricted.
Trump’s proclamation outlines, in some detail, the new limitations on travelers from each of the affected countries. For example, only students and visitors coming to the United States under an exchange program will be allowed to come to the United States from Iran, and even those travelers will be subjected to additional screenings. The new order bars travelers who are Syrian and North Korean nationals, while some Venezuelan government officials and their families will also be excluded from the United States.
The proclamation will go into effect on October 18 for most of the foreign nationals it covers. Trump’s proclamation did not address another part of his March 6 order – the freeze on the admission of refugees into the United States.
This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.