After chaos at airports and legal challenges around the country, the main sections in United States President Donald Trump’s initial immigration order – issued on 27 January 2017 – were eventually blocked by a court in Washington.
The order suspended the US’s refugee intake, blocked Syrian refugees indefinitely and banned entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.
The state of Washington, joined by the state of Minnesota, challenged the original order based on numerous constitutional and legal grounds.
They requested a temporary injunction on the basis that they were likely to succeed in their suit against the president, and that their states would suffer “irreparable harm” in the meantime.
The court agreed and granted the order – effectively suspending the travel ban for the entire country.
The court has not had the chance to fully hear the case and decide on the constitutionality of the original order – after the injucnction the government said it would no longer to contest the case and would instead issue a new executive order.
In their filing documents, Washington and Minnesota argued that the January ban violated the first, fifth and tenth amendments of the US Constitution – along with numerous other laws.
The laws violated the constitutional right to due process, lawyers said, arguing that sections of order targeted individuals for “discriminatory treatment based on their country of origin and/or religion, without lawful justification”.
It was noted that in 2016, Donald Trump had campaigned on the promise to ban Muslim immigration to the US.
“The Executive Order was motivated by animus and a desire to harm a particular group,” lawyers said.
The plaintiffs also argued that the executive order violated the first amendment by preferring one religion over another.
“Together with statements made by Defendants concerning their intent and application, are intended to disfavour Islam and favour Christianity,” lawyers wrote.
By Ben Winsor for SBS
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