Our Stories

Statement Regarding Supreme Court's Travel Ban 3.0 Decision

Public Counsel attorney, Joseph Weiner, at LAX after the first Travel Ban. Our attorneys carried signs to connect with distraught family members separated from detained loved ones.

In the face of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Trump’s thrice-revised Executive Order banning travel for refugees and immigrants primarily from majority-Muslim countries, Public Counsel remains firmly committed to fighting the Administration’s hateful and discriminatory policies in the courtroom, in Congress, and on the streets.

In its opinion, the Supreme Court majority held that despite President Trump’s xenophobic and discriminatory statements about Muslims, both when he was a candidate and after he had assumed office, the travel ban is neutral on its face and within an area of core executive responsibility. It stated that it could only review whether the President had given a facially legitimate and bona fide reason for the action he took, and concluded that it could look behind the face of the executive order only to determine whether the policy was plausibly related to the government’s stated objective of protecting the country and improving vetting processes for issuance of visas. Using this standard, it held that the evidence was sufficient to show a rational relationship between the ban and national security.

In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor asserts that the majority “leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a ‘total and complete shutdown of Mus¬lims entering the United States’ because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns.” She accuses the majority of “ignoring the facts, misconstruing . . . legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering [the travel ban] inflicts upon countless families and individuals.” We could not agree more. We see the ban – and the Trump Administration’s many other immigration policies – for what they are: an attack on the values of inclusion and equality that we and most in this nation have long held dear.

President Trump is not only targeting Muslims and refugees: He is waging a full-scale war against immigrants. The Administration is tearing apart immigrant families seeking asylum at our borders. It is terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has allowed immigrant youth who grew up in this country to pursue work and education. It is terrorizing our communities with threats of mass deportations.

Just as Public Counsel was on the front lines at the airport assisting those impacted by the Travel Bans, so too is Public Counsel at the forefront of the ongoing struggle to protect our immigrant community. We are representing detained mothers separated from their children at the border. We are challenging the elimination of DACA in the courts. We are responding to terror by extending opportunities to grow and thrive to our young immigrant clients.

Notwithstanding today’s Supreme Court decision, Public Counsel will continue to fight the Administration’s unlawful and immoral assault on immigrants.