In a significant blow to United States President Donald Trump, the US State Department on Saturday suspended the ban on people travelling to the country from seven Muslim-majority nations, after a federal court imposed a temporary restraining order on its implementation. Trump, however, remains adamant and wants to overturn the legal ruling against his travel ban. As many observers have argued, the order stands on the very shaky legal ground. Last month, he signed an executive order prohibiting the entry of Muslims from seven countries for at least four months and indefinitely stopping Syrian refugees from coming into the US.
It is a retroactive order, which applies to those with previously approved refugee applications, holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and other individuals from seven countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen – who arrived soon after the US President signed the order. The restrictions brought in by his executive order have wreaked havoc on immigrant families, especially those with valid travel documents. Even a minimal scrutiny of the sole rationale for this ban (keeping out Muslim extremists) illustrates how devoid it is of reason, compassion, and empathy. These events could also precipitate a constitutional crisis in America, with a section of the judiciary and executive standing on opposing sides of the immigration order. It will be fascinating to see how all this plays out in the coming days.