When Donald Trump began his campaign to become President of the United States, he introduced some powerful slogans into the world’s popular culture – “Make America Great Again” and “Drain the Swamp” were two such slogans, chanted by supporters, embroidered on to those ubiquitous baseball caps and daubed on banners throughout America.
High on Trump’s priority list and key to his administration delivering on their campaign promises was his highly controversial Travel Ban. The original version of this policy, issued in January 2017, barred citizens of seven (majority Muslim) nations from travelling to the United States for 90 days.
Understandably, this caused chaos at airports – Homeland Security were unsure how to enforce this ban and people from the banned nations staged protests at the distressing treatment of their family members and loved ones affected by the ban.
Not surprisingly, this version of the travel ban was blocked by the federal courts. It wasn’t dead and buried though. In March 2017, version two of the ban removed Iran from the list and relaxed the ban on Syrian refugees. Despite widespread condemnation, this version of the policy was upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2017.
Opposition to the ban continued throughout the US and in September 2017, a third version of the policy was announced which removed Sudan from the list while adding restrictions to government officials from three additional countries.
So, it looks like third time lucky for Mr Trump and his administration. Challenges have been made based on the premise that the ban had religious discrimination at it’s core. Whilst campaigning for the Presidency, Trump once called for “A total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”, many critics alleged that the travel ban policy was trump’s way of fulfilling this campaign promise.
Five Supreme Court justices however, have said that they took the President’s order at face value and separated it from his pretentious anti-Muslim comments made on Twitter during his presidential campaign.
A White House spokesperson has hailed this ruling as “a tremendous victory for the American People and the Constitution”. Opposition leaders have condemned the ruling as one of the Supreme Court’s “great failures”.
For the moment, President Trump has his way and the Travel Ban is now in place – how long it will continue to be is debatable as opposition for the policy shows no sign of wavering.