Supreme Court hears oral arguments on travel ban

The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) joined immigrant rights groups and activists outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday, April 25 as oral arguments in Trump v. Hawaii began to decide whether the administration’s travel ban executive order violates federal law.

In its third iteration, the travel ban targets primarily people of Muslim-majority countries. The travel ban prevents them from reuniting with family, studying in the United States, seeking medical care in the U.S., and other activities that others are permitted to do under immigration law.

Representatives of the Administration have argued that the policy is not a Muslim ban, but that it is necessary to protect national security. However, during his campaign, Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

The latest data from the State Department shows that 1,891 Muslim refugees have been allowed to enter the country so far in the 2018 fiscal year. This is a 90 percent drop from the same period last year, when the U.S. admitted 18,342 Muslim refugees.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) attended the oral arguments and spoke to the crowd outside afterwards about her state's case against the travel ban. “If the Supreme Court allows this action by this president to stand, my fear is we don’t know what he will do next to hurt other immigrant communities or minorities,” Sen. Hirono said. “This is no time to be giving up anything.”

A decision from the Supreme Court is expected by late June.