Washington Watch

Posted on: October 23rd, 2017
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District Court Judges in Hawaii and Maryland Make Rulings Regarding Muslim-Majority Travel Ban

United States District Court Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) requested by the state of Hawaii with regard to the president’s proclamation issued on September 24, 2017 entitled, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” or EO-3. The TRO specifically enjoined the sanctions in Sections 2 (a), (b), (c), (e), (g), and (h), which restricted the travel of six of the eight countries, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Chad. The TRO did not enjoin the travel restrictions placed upon the remaining two countries, North Korea and Venezuela.

In a related decision, U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang of Maryland issued a nationwide preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement all of section 2 of EO-3, with two exceptions. The only aspects of section 2 exempted were the travel restrictions placed upon North Korea and Venezuela, as well as individuals lacking a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.

The United States Department of Justice has indicated that it will seek an appeal these rulings, while the U.S. State Department, in the meantime, stated it will resume its regular processing of visa requests for individuals from the six countries which had their travel restrictions lifted.

For more information, view the Hawaii TRO or the Maryland TRO.

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S. 1937: Border Security and Deferred Action Recipient Relief Act

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona introduced S.1937 in order to establish a coherent budget which identifies sources and appropriations of funds for border wall planning, construction, and repair. The proposed “Border Trust Fund” is calculated to total $1,571,239,000. The proposed Act establishes cancellation of removal and a procedure of adjustment of status for certain childhood arrivals who have maintained long-term residence. In order to qualify for the relief, individuals must submit paperwork which establishes that they have been continuously present since January 1, 2012, that on the date they entered the country they were under the age of 16. If the individual is over 18, documentation of a high-school diploma, a commensurate alternative award from a private or public high school, a high school general equivalency diploma, proof of admission into a school of higher learning, or valid employment authorization. The individual must also adequately demonstrate their good moral character since their arrival date.
For more information, view the proposed Act.

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