Archive for the ‘Executive order’ category

Judge in Hawaii blocks latest version of Trump’s travel ban

October 17, 2017

Judge in Hawaii blocks latest version of Trump’s travel ban, Fox News, AP, October 17, 2017

(Here we go again. — DM)

A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration Tuesday from enforcing its latest travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted Hawaii’s request to temporarily block the policy that was to be implemented starting early Wednesday. He found Trump’s executive order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.”

The judge, appointed by former President Barack Obama, said the new restrictions ignore a federal appeals court ruling that found President Donald Trump’s previous ban exceeds the scope of his authority. The latest version “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to … the founding principles of this nation,” Watson wrote.

The government has said the new policy was based on an objective assessment of each country’s security situation and willingness to share information with the U.S.

Hawaii argued in court documents that the updated ban is a continuation of Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States” despite the addition of two non-majority Muslim countries.

Other courts are weighing challenges to the latest travel restrictions.

In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are seeking to block the visa and entry restrictions in the president’s latest proclamation.

Washington state, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, New York and Maryland have challenged the policy before U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who struck down Trump’s initial ban in January.

That policy led to chaos and confusion at airports nationwide and triggered several lawsuits, including one from Hawaii.

When Trump revised the ban, state Attorney General Doug Chin changed the lawsuit to challenge that version. In March, Watson agreed with Hawaii that it amounted to discrimination based on nationality and religion.

A subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to partially reinstate that 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees.

But it said the policy didn’t apply to refugees and travelers with a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the U.S.

Hawaii then successfully challenged the federal government’s definition of which family members would be allowed into the country. Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on close relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts.

The judge’s order Tuesday prevents acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from implementing the latest travel ban.

Watson said he would set an expedited hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be extended.

Presidential Executive Order on Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to North Korea

September 21, 2017

Presidential Executive Order on Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to North Korea, The White House, September 21, 2017

(As noted at Conservative Tree House,

President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin have structured this executive order in such a way that the downstream consequences from any economic engagement with the DPRK effectively cuts off that entity from ever engaging in commerce or economic activity with the United States.

— DM)

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

IMPOSING ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO NORTH KOREA

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 (22 U.S.C. 287c) (UNPA), section 1 of title II of Public Law 65-24, ch. 30, June 15, 1917, as amended (50 U.S.C. 191), sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code; and in view of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2321 of November 30, 2016, UNSCR 2356 of June 2, 2017, UNSCR 2371 of August 5, 2017, and UNSCR 2375 of September 11, 2017, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that:

The provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea, including its intercontinental ballistic missile launches of July 3 and July 28, 2017, and its nuclear test of September 2, 2017, each of which violated its obligations under numerous UNSCRs and contravened its commitments under the September 19, 2005, Joint Statement of the Six‑Party Talks; its commission of serious human rights abuses; and its use of funds generated through international trade to support its nuclear and missile programs and weapons proliferation, constitute a continuing threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and a disturbance of the international relations of the United States.

In order to take further steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466 of June 26, 2008, as modified in scope by and relied upon for additional steps in subsequent Executive Orders, I hereby find, determine, and order:

Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:

Any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

(i) to operate in the construction, energy, financial services, fishing, information technology, manufacturing, medical, mining, textiles, or transportation industries in North Korea;

(ii) to own, control, or operate any port in North Korea, including any seaport, airport, or land port of entry;

(iii) to have engaged in at least one significant importation from or exportation to North Korea of any goods, services, or technology;

(iv) to be a North Korean person, including a North Korean person that has engaged in commercial activity that generates revenue for the Government of North Korea or the Workers’ Party of Korea;

(v) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(vi) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the effective date of this order. The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section are in addition to export control authorities implemented by the Department of Commerce.

(c) I hereby determine that the making of donations of the types of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (a) of this section would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by subsection (a) of this section.

(d) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include:

(i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (a) of this section; and

(ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 2. (a) No aircraft in which a foreign person has an interest that has landed at a place in North Korea may land at a place in the United States within 180 days after departure from North Korea.

(b) No vessel in which a foreign person has an interest that has called at a port in North Korea within the previous 180 days, and no vessel in which a foreign person has an interest that has engaged in a ship‑to‑ship transfer with such a vessel within the previous 180 days, may call at a port in the United States.

(c) The prohibitions in subsections (a) and (b) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the effective date of this order.

Sec. 3. (a) All funds that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person and that originate from, are destined for, or pass through a foreign bank account that has been determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to be owned or controlled by a North Korean person, or to have been used to transfer funds in which any North Korean person has an interest, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.

(b) No United States person, wherever located, may approve, finance, facilitate, or guarantee a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by subsection (a) of this section if performed by a United States person or within the United States.

(c) The prohibitions in subsections (a) and (b) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the effective date of this order.

Sec. 4. (a) The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to impose on a foreign financial institution the sanctions described in subsection (b) of this section upon determining that the foreign financial institution has, on or after the effective date of this order:

(i) knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13551 of August 30, 2010, Executive Order 13687 of January 2, 2015, Executive Order 13722 of March 15, 2016, or this order, or of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13382 in connection with North Korea‑related activities; or

(ii) knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction in connection with trade with North Korea.

(b) With respect to any foreign financial institution determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, in accordance with this section to meet the criteria set forth in subsection (a)(i) or (a)(ii) of this section, the Secretary of the Treasury may:

(i) prohibit the opening and prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintenance of correspondent accounts or payable-through accounts in the United States; or

(ii) block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of such foreign financial institution, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.

(c) The prohibitions in subsection (b) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the effective date of this order.

(d) I hereby determine that the making of donations of the types of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (b)(ii) of this section would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by subsection (b)(ii) of this section.

(e) The prohibitions in subsection (b)(ii) of this section include:

(i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (b)(ii) of this section; and

(ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 5. The unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 1(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and the entry of such persons into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, is therefore hereby suspended. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).

Sec. 6. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 7. Nothing in this order shall prohibit transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government or the United Nations (including its specialized agencies, programmes, funds, and related organizations) by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof.

Sec. 8. For the purposes of this order:

(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;

(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;

(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;

(d) the term “North Korean person” means any North Korean citizen, North Korean permanent resident alien, or entity organized under the laws of North Korea or any jurisdiction within North Korea (including foreign branches). For the purposes of section 1 of this order, the term “North Korean person” shall not include any United States citizen, any permanent resident alien of the United States, any alien lawfully admitted to the United States, or any alien holding a valid United States visa;

(e) the term “foreign financial institution” means any foreign entity that is engaged in the business of accepting deposits, making, granting, transferring, holding, or brokering loans or credits, or purchasing or selling foreign exchange, securities, commodity futures or options, or procuring purchasers and sellers thereof, as principal or agent. The term includes, among other entities, depository institutions; banks; savings banks; money service businesses; trust companies; securities brokers and dealers; commodity futures and options brokers and dealers; forward contract and foreign exchange merchants; securities and commodities exchanges; clearing corporations; investment companies; employee benefit plans; dealers in precious metals, stones, or jewels; and holding companies, affiliates, or subsidiaries of any of the foregoing. The term does not include the international financial institutions identified in 22 U.S.C. 262r(c)(2), the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the North American Development Bank, or any other international financial institution so notified by the Secretary of the Treasury; and

(f) the term “knowingly,” with respect to conduct, a circumstance, or a result, means that a person has actual knowledge, or should have known, of the conduct, the circumstance, or the result.

Sec. 9. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to this order.

Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including adopting rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to me by IEEPA and UNPA as may be necessary to implement this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States. All agencies shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to implement this order.

Sec. 11. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time, September 21, 2017.

Sec. 12. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

September 20, 2017.

Jeff Sessions to appeal latest Hawaii travel ban decision to Supreme Court

July 14, 2017

Jeff Sessions to appeal latest Hawaii travel ban decision to Supreme Court, Washington ExaminerKelly Cohen, July 14, 2017

(Please see also, Hawaii judge rules Trump’s travel ban too strict, cannot ban grandparents and other family members. The circuit judge who issued the ruling said that it would be null if the government filed an emergency appeal. The appeal to the Supreme Court should have a similar effect. — DM)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday the Justice Department will appeal the latest decision by a Hawaii District Court to limit the scope of President Trump’s travel ban, and blasted the court for “micromanag[ing] the decisions of the coequal executive branch.”

“[T]he district court has improperly substituted its policy preferences for the national security judgments of the executive branch in a time of grave threats, defying both the lawful prerogatives of the Executive Branch and the directive of the Supreme Court,” Sessions said.

 Sessions said the court “undermined national security, delayed necessary action, created confusion, and violated a proper respect for separation of powers.”

The Justice Department will now turn again to the Supreme Court, Sessions said, calling having to do so something the Trump administration will do “reluctantly.”

The judge in Hawaii ruled Thursday night that Trump’s interpretation of the travel ban goes too far in banning family members from the United States.

Trump implemented the ban to allow people with close family ties to the U.S. enter from the six countries covered by the ban: Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. But it said grandparents, grandchildren, brothers and sisters in law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins don’t qualify.

Hawaii judge rules Trump’s travel ban too strict, cannot ban grandparents and other family members

July 14, 2017

Hawaii judge rules Trump’s travel ban too strict, cannot ban grandparents and other family members, Washinton ExaminerJosh Siegel, July 14, 2017

Watson says his ruling is null if the government files an emergency appeal. The government had not issued a response as of publication.

***************************

A federal judge in Hawaii ruled Thursday night that part of the Trump administration’s travel ban is too broad, meaning that it cannot block grandparents and other relatives of people in the U.S. as intended.

The ruling by Hawaii District Court Judge Derrick Watson prevents the government from enforcing two parts of the travel ban.

The federal government cannot use the executive order to “exclude grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States,” Watson wrote.

Watson also ruled that a refugee who has “assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency” that they will be provided placement services cannot be blocked from travel.

Watson says his ruling is null if the government files an emergency appeal. The government had not issued a response as of publication.

The Supreme Court last month allowed the Trump administration’s ban on foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries to go forward in a limited scope. It said the administration could not apply the temporary ban to these travelers if they have a “bona fide relationship with the U.S.”

The Trump administration defined “bona fide relationship” to mean close family members only: parents, spouses, siblings, children, and engaged partners. It would block entry of grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins from the six countries.

Hawaii had argued this interpretation of “bona fide relationship” was too narrow.

State of Hawaii Files Yet Another Legal Challenge to Trump Travel Ban

July 10, 2017

State of Hawaii Files Yet Another Legal Challenge to Trump Travel Ban, BreitbartMichael Patrick Leahy, July 9, 2017

The Associated Press

Hawaii’s assertion that the Government “intends to continue implementing Executive Order 13780 in a manner that conflicts with the portions of [Judge Watson’s March 29, 2017] preliminary injunction” that were not stayed by the Supreme Court requires Judge Watson to make a significant leap of interpretation, one that, on the face of it, appears to run counter to the specific language the Court used in its June 26 decision.

*****************************

Just hours after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied its most recent challenge to the Trump travel ban, the state of Hawaii filed yet another motion challenging it in federal court:

In its June 26 decision, the Supreme Court let stand the temporary travel and refugee ban contained in that executive order but added that the ban would not apply to refugees and visa applicants with a “bona fide relationship” to an American resident.

The Trump administration quickly defined “bona fide relationship” as parent, child, sibling, spouse or fiance. The state of Hawaii wants a broader definition that would include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and possibly more distant relations.

“Late Friday, the Ninth Circuit said no to Hawaii’s request for an emergency appeal of Judge Watson’s denial, saying it lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal,” as Breitbart News reported on Saturday:

But the liberal judges on the panel could not resist giving Hawaii a road map to get what they want.

The Ninth Circuit ruled that Hawaii should have asked Judge Watson to modify his previous injunction halting the Executive Order on March 15 (partially overturned by the Supreme Court on June 26) instead of asking for him to “clarify” the Supreme Court’s decision.

Later on Friday night, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin filed a 31-page motion in Honolulu with U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson that did just that. The former Principal Deputy Solicitor General under President Obama, Neal Kumar Katyal, now a partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., is private co-counsel for both plaintiffs–the state of Hawaii and Ismail Eshikh–in the case.

Katyal has extensive experience arguing before the Supreme Court. In November 2015, National Law Journal reported “Neal Katyal’s 26th argument before the U.S. Supreme Court, given in an otherwise routine case Monday, marked a major milestone: He has appeared at the lectern more times than any other male minority lawyer except for Thurgood Marshall.”

“The Government has announced that it is implementing, and that it intends to continue implementing, Executive Order 13780 in a manner that conflicts with the portions of this Court’s preliminary injunction that were not stayed by the Supreme Court’s June 26, 2017 ruling,” the motion stated:

Plaintiffs therefore request that the Court issue an Order enforcing or modifying its preliminary injunction to reflect that:

(1) the injunction bars the Government from implementing the Executive Order against grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States;

(2) the injunction prohibits the Government from applying sections 6(a) and 6(b) to exclude refugees who: (i) have a formal assurance from a resettlement agency within the United States (ii) have a bona fide client relationship with a U.S. legal services organization; or (iii) are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) through the Iraqi Direct Access Program for “U.S.-affiliated Iraqis,” the Central American Minors Program, or the Lautenberg Program;

(3) the injunction bars defendants from suspending any part of the refugee admission process, including any part of the “Advanced Booking” process, for individuals with a bona fide
relationship with a U.S. person or entity; and

(4) the preliminary injunction prohibits the Government from applying a presumption that an applicant lacks “a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

In its June 26 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that with regards to the temporary 120 ban on refugees, “The Government’s application to stay the injunction with respect to §§6(a) and (b) is accordingly granted in part.”

Section 6(a) may not be enforced against an individual seeking admission as a refugee who can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.

Nor may §6(b); that is, such a person may not be excluded pursuant to §6(b), even if the 50,000-person cap has been reached or exceeded. As applied to all other individuals, the provisions may take effect.

Just hours after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied its most recent challenge to the Trump travel ban, the state of Hawaii filed yet another motion challenging it in federal court:

In its June 26 decision, the Supreme Court let stand the temporary travel and refugee ban contained in that executive order but added that the ban would not apply to refugees and visa applicants with a “bona fide relationship” to an American resident.

The Trump administration quickly defined “bona fide relationship” as parent, child, sibling, spouse or fiance. The state of Hawaii wants a broader definition that would include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and possibly more distant relations.

“Late Friday, the Ninth Circuit said no to Hawaii’s request for an emergency appeal of Judge Watson’s denial, saying it lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal,” as Breitbart News reported on Saturday:

But the liberal judges on the panel could not resist giving Hawaii a road map to get what they want.

The Ninth Circuit ruled that Hawaii should have asked Judge Watson to modify his previous injunction halting the Executive Order on March 15 (partially overturned by the Supreme Court on June 26) instead of asking for him to “clarify” the Supreme Court’s decision.

Later on Friday night, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin filed a 31-page motion in Honolulu with U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson that did just that. The former Principal Deputy Solicitor General under President Obama, Neal Kumar Katyal, now a partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., is private co-counsel for both plaintiffs–the state of Hawaii and Ismail Eshikh–in the case.

Katyal has extensive experience arguing before the Supreme Court. In November 2015, National Law Journal reported “Neal Katyal’s 26th argument before the U.S. Supreme Court, given in an otherwise routine case Monday, marked a major milestone: He has appeared at the lectern more times than any other male minority lawyer except for Thurgood Marshall.”

“The Government has announced that it is implementing, and that it intends to continue implementing, Executive Order 13780 in a manner that conflicts with the portions of this Court’s preliminary injunction that were not stayed by the Supreme Court’s June 26, 2017 ruling,” the motion stated:

Plaintiffs therefore request that the Court issue an Order enforcing or modifying its preliminary injunction to reflect that:

(1) the injunction bars the Government from implementing the Executive Order against grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States;

(2) the injunction prohibits the Government from applying sections 6(a) and 6(b) to exclude refugees who: (i) have a formal assurance from a resettlement agency within the United States (ii) have a bona fide client relationship with a U.S. legal services organization; or (iii) are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) through the Iraqi Direct Access Program for “U.S.-affiliated Iraqis,” the Central American Minors Program, or the Lautenberg Program;

(3) the injunction bars defendants from suspending any part of the refugee admission process, including any part of the “Advanced Booking” process, for individuals with a bona fide
relationship with a U.S. person or entity; and

(4) the preliminary injunction prohibits the Government from applying a presumption that an applicant lacks “a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

In its June 26 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that with regards to the temporary 120 ban on refugees, “The Government’s application to stay the injunction with respect to §§6(a) and (b) is accordingly granted in part.”

Section 6(a) may not be enforced against an individual seeking admission as a refugee who can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.

Nor may §6(b); that is, such a person may not be excluded pursuant to §6(b), even if the 50,000-person cap has been reached or exceeded. As applied to all other individuals, the provisions may take effect.

Hawaii’s assertion that the Government “intends to continue implementing Executive Order 13780 in a manner that conflicts with the portions of [Judge Watson’s March 29, 2017] preliminary injunction” that were not stayed by the Supreme Court requires Judge Watson to make a significant leap of interpretation, one that, on the face of it, appears to run counter to the specific language the Court used in its June 26 decision.

“The facts of these cases illustrate the sort of relationship that qualifies,” the Supreme Court said of both the temporary travel ban and the temporary refugee ban.

For individuals, a close familial relationship is required. A foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, like Doe’s wife or Dr. Elshikh’s mother-in-law, clearly has such a relationship.

As for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO–2.

The students from the designated countries who have been admitted to the University of Hawaii have such a relationship with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address an American audience.

Not so someone who enters into a relationship simply to avoid §2(c): For example, a nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from their exclusion. (emphasis added)

While Judge Watson expressed considerable personal animosity towards President Trump in his March 15 temporary restraining order and his March 29 preliminary injunction, the state of Hawaii is asking him to interpret the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision in such a way that looks perilously close to largely rejecting it.

Should he rule in favor of the state of Hawaii, and should the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals uphold that decision upon a likely appeal by the Trump administration, the matter would again go to the Supreme Court for consideration.

Of the 49,803 refugees who have been resettled in the United States during the first nine months and seven days of FY 2017, only three–all from Burma–have been resettled in Hawaii, according to the State Department interactive website.

In FY 2016, the last full year of the Obama administration, not a single refugee was resettled in Hawaii out of the total of 84,995 that were resettled in the entire country.

In the fifteen plus fiscal years since FY 2002, a total of 127 refugees have been resettled in Hawaii.

“The facts of these cases illustrate the sort of relationship that qualifies,” the Supreme Court said of both the temporary travel ban and the temporary refugee ban.

For individuals, a close familial relationship is required. A foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, like Doe’s wife or Dr. Elshikh’s mother-in-law, clearly has such a relationship.

As for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO–2.

The students from the designated countries who have been admitted to the University of Hawaii have such a relationship with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address an American audience.

Not so someone who enters into a relationship simply to avoid §2(c): For example, a nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from their exclusion. (emphasis added)

While Judge Watson expressed considerable personal animosity towards President Trump in his March 15 temporary restraining order and his March 29 preliminary injunction, the state of Hawaii is asking him to interpret the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision in such a way that looks perilously close to largely rejecting it.

Should he rule in favor of the state of Hawaii, and should the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals uphold that decision upon a likely appeal by the Trump administration, the matter would again go to the Supreme Court for consideration.

Of the 49,803 refugees who have been resettled in the United States during the first nine months and seven days of FY 2017, only three–all from Burma–have been resettled in Hawaii, according to the State Department interactive website.

In FY 2016, the last full year of the Obama administration, not a single refugee was resettled in Hawaii out of the total of 84,995 that were resettled in the entire country.

In the fifteen plus fiscal years since FY 2002, a total of 127 refugees have been resettled in Hawaii.

Judge in Hawaii leaves Trump’s travel ban rules in place

July 7, 2017

Judge in Hawaii leaves Trump’s travel ban rules in place, Washington Times, July 6, 2017

FILE- In this June 30, 2017, file photo, critics of President Donald Trump’s travel ban hold signs during a news conference with Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin in Honolulu.

A federal judge delivered President Trump yet another legal victory on his travel ban executive order late Thursday, allowing to remain in effect the White House’s revised rules that cast a fairly narrow screen on who will be admitted as refugees or from six targeted countries.

Judge Derrick K. Watson said the state of Hawaii and other immigrant rights groups challenging Mr. Trump should take their beef up with the Supreme Court since it was the justices’ vague ruling that has led to confusion.

“This court will not upset the Supreme Court’s careful balancing,” Judge Watson wrote.

 In a June 26 ruling, the justices agreed to let much of Mr. Trump’s extreme vetting policy go into effect, canceling an earlier injunction Judge Watson and other federal judges had imposed.

The justices, in a 9-0 ruling, said that for would-be visitors without a connection to the U.S. — either a close relative or a job offer or participation in a school program, for example — Mr. Trump could exclude them. For those with close relationships, however, the justices said the relatives or entities in the U.S. had rights that must be weighed, and for now those rights trump the president’s security concerns.

The Supreme Court has planned full arguments for October.

But the justices didn’t define what a close relationship means, leaving it up to the administration to say, and Mr. Trump’s opponents to then battle over.

Homeland Security said it looked to federal immigration law and previous court rulings and concluded that parents, siblings and spouses were close relationships, but others — including grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles and even couples engaged to be married — did not qualify.

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin had argued that in his state, close family relationships had a much broader meaning that needed to be protected.

Judge Watson said he’d be happy to interpret his own orders, but since the standard in this case was set by the Supreme Court, it’s up to the justices to say what they meant.

Justice Clarence Thomas had predicted a slew of lawsuits would result from the high court’s ruling last month, saying they had left a muddle.

For now, Mr. Trump remains free to restrict entry of many would-be visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — the majority-Muslim nations that the government, dating back to the Obama administration, has deemed to be threats. His executive order imposes a 90-day pause on those admissions.

Mr. Trump has also called for a 120-day halt to refugee admissions worldwide. The Supreme Court said he could only halt those refugees who, like the visitors from the six targeted countries, don’t have a close relationship with someone in the U.S.

All sides are still trying to hash out what that means, and whether refugees in the pipeline who have been promised resettlement by a nonprofit agency in the U.S. can still come.

For now, Judge Watson’s ruling marks another rare court victory for Mr. Trump after a string of defeats.

His original travel ban policy issued in January was blocked by several courts, including the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He went back to the drawing board and revised his order in March to meet the 9th Circuit’s objections, but that court and the 4th Circuit blocked even the updated order, arguing Mr. Trump broke procedural laws and, in the case of one of the courts, said he showed too much animus toward Muslims to allow his order to stand.

The Supreme Court, though, rejected those reasons, instead looking at the executive order on its face and concluding Mr. Trump did have national security and immigration powers as president that must be respected.

Obama-appointed judges dismiss Supreme Court ruling, continue blocking Trump’s immigration crackdown

June 29, 2017

Obama-appointed judges dismiss Supreme Court ruling, continue blocking Trump’s immigration crackdown, Washington TimesStephen Dinan, June 28, 2017

President Trump met Wednesday with what the White House identified as “immigration crime victims” to urge passage of House legislation. (Associated Press)

President Trump may have won a partial victory at the Supreme Court this week, but other federal judges remain major stumbling blocks to his aggressive immigration plans, with courts from California to Michigan and Atlanta limiting his crackdown on sanctuary cities and stopping him from deporting illegal immigrants he has targeted for removal.

The judges in those deportation cases have rejected Mr. Trump’s argument that he has wide latitude to decide who gets kicked out, without having to worry about district courts second-guessing him on facts of the case.

Instead, the judges said, they get to decide their jurisdiction, and that extends to reviewing Mr. Trump’s immigration policy.

One judge in Michigan ordered the Homeland Security Department to freeze all deportation plans for about 200 Chaldean Christians arrested over the past two months and scheduled to be sent back to Iraq. Nearly every one of them has a criminal record.

A judge in Atlanta ordered the department to reinstate the temporary deportation amnesty — known in governmentspeak as the DACA program — for Jessica Colotl, an illegal immigrant Dreamer whose past made her a target for deportation, officials said.

“The public has an interest in government agencies being required to comply with their own written guidelines instead of engaging in arbitrary decision-making,” said Judge Mark H. Cohen, breaking new ground in establishing legal rights for some illegal immigrants.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in California ordered the Border Patrol to improve its treatment of illegal immigrant children caught sneaking across the border. She said she was troubled by stories from illegal immigrants who said they were kept in dirty rooms without private toilets and sometimes had to wait up to 12 hours for their first meals.

When they were fed, it wasn’t enough, concluded Judge Dolly M. Gee.

Judge Gee ruled that the Border Patrol must provide the children with soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and access to showers.

Notably, all four of the judges — including one in San Francisco who blocked part of Mr. Trump’s executive order against sanctuary cities — were appointed to the bench by President Obama.

“Almost all of the judges are acting outside of established law,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation who served as a Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration.

For David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the judges are heroes upholding the Constitution when the political branches of government won’t.

“You’ve got the Republicans playing ball in the Senate and the House. The only institution that’s putting a check on this guy is the judiciary,” he said.

The Trump administration is fighting all the rulings but has had little luck convincing lower-court judges of Mr. Trump’s powers on immigration.

Mr. Trump, though, has had success at the Supreme Court, which issued a 9-0 decision this week reviving part of his travel ban executive order, which imposes a 90-day pause on some visitors from six majority-Muslim countries and a 120-day halt to all refugee admissions.

Reversing several lower-court rulings — all also issued by judges appointed by Democrats — the Supreme Court said Mr. Trump could stop refugees and visitors when they don’t already have “bona fide” close connections to people or entities in the U.S. For those who do have close connections, however, they have rights that must be respected.

Homeland Security is working out how it will interpret those directives, but analysts are deeply divided on what it means and whether the justices delivered a message to lower courts to back off their criticism of Mr. Trump.

Where lower-court judges pored over Mr. Trump’s campaign statements and perused his Twitter account looking for evidence to use against him, the Supreme Court took the president’s executive order at face value.

“The Supreme Court treated this like a normal case, like a normal executive action. So certainly this has to affect — probably not all judges, but certainly some,” said Ilya Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Cato Institute’s Supreme Court Review.

He said that could set the stage for a return to the posture of the Obama years, when many of his actions were challenged in court but were greeted with seriousness by the judges who heard the cases — what legal scholars have come to call the “presumption of regularity.”

“I don’t think we’re there yet,” Mr. Shapiro said. “The [president’s] constant tweets — not just about immigration but lots of things — feed the fire of the resistance.”

Mr. von Spakovsky called the Supreme Court ruling “a slap in the face” to the judges who ruled against the broad swath of the president’s immigration plans.

“These judges are clearly hoping these cases don’t get appealed, don’t get to the Supreme Court, because if they do, they’re going to get overturned,” he predicted. “The lesson to them is they need to quit making political decisions based on the fact they don’t like the president and his policy, and start making legal decisions that follow binding precedent.”

Some analysts said the key part of the Supreme Court’s ruling was showing deference to the president’s national security decision-making. The justices said his judgment had to carry weight, particularly when it came to people who don’t have a connection to the U.S. and therefore don’t have constitutional rights to be weighed.

The court will hear broader arguments in the travel ban case in October.

Mr. Leopold said he initially saw the ruling as a loss for immigrant rights advocates, but after rereading it he concluded it’s a major win for his side and a slap at Mr. Trump.

“This is a rebuke,” he said. “They weren’t harsh in their words. It was very professional … But if you read between the lines, they basically say, ‘No, no, we’re not going to defer to you on national security here.’”

He also said the ruling is much more limited in empowering Mr. Trump than it might seem and that few people will be snared by the part of the executive order that the court revived, targeting those without close connections to the U.S.

But on Wednesday evening, the State Department issued a new set of visa guidelines to U.S. embassies on the six affected countries that was much narrower than immigration advocates might have hoped.

Refugee agencies argue that most refugees already in the pipeline have close connections because their names have already been forwarded for placement in the U.S. Immigrant rights advocates said anyone with a job offer, a relative living in the U.S. or who are part of a school program will also be exempted.

Advocacy groups said earlier Wednesday that if they thought the president was being too stingy, they would head back to the courts and likely the same lower-court judges who first ruled against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Leopold said that, far from being chastened, those judges will now feel emboldened by the Supreme Court.

“I think it stiffens the spine because they’re looking at this and they’re basically being upheld on the injunction,” he said. “Those judges have not been overruled.”