The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on Monday that effectively gave the green light for the third iteration of the Trump administration’s Muslim ban to take effect while legal challenges are still pending in lower courts.
With minor exceptions, citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea are included in the ban, along with some individuals from Venezuela, primarily government officials.
Rama Issa, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, said in a press call on Tuesday that she is Syrian herself, and that she won’t be able to see her father, who lives in their homeland.
“It’s personal to me, but it’s also personal to a lot of folks on my staff who have family in Yemen, in different parts of the Middle East, who don’t really know what to do at this point in time,” Issa said. “There’s a lot of anxiety. The decision comes just weeks after the president tweeted these anti-Muslim hate videos. We’re going to continue to fight this.”
The Supreme Court’s decision overtook preliminary injunctions issued by Hawaii and Maryland district courts that had prevented the ban from going into effect. When these injunctions were first issued, they were appealed, but their respective appellate circuits upheld them.
“There’s no real clear indication… as to what the Supreme Court felt warranted granting the stay,” said Camille Mackler, director of legal policy for the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC).
In its order, the court did not issue an accompanying reason for the decision, The New York Times reported.
“We continue to believe that the ban is unconstitutional, it is impermissibly discriminatory against a religion, and we continue to believe that we will prevail at the lower courts once all the evidence has been entered onto the record and examined and all the arguments have been made,” Mackler said.
Murad Awawdeh, vice president of advocacy for the NYIC, said families from the affected countries are now experiencing great difficulties in reconnecting.
“Not only are we in a place where the Muslim communities across the United States are feeling threatened and attacked by the federal administration, but now we have the people who are the most vulnerable in these six Muslim-majority countries being targeted by this administration who are fleeing conflict and disasters abroad,” Awawdeh said.
“It is entirely unacceptable and un-American to discriminate against people based on their race or religion, and that is exactly what’s happening here.”