The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide in a few days’ time, whether U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest version of the travel ban can go into effect.
Lower courts of the country have blocked its implementation leading to the Trump administration asking the highest court of the land to reinstate the order in full.
The first travel ban resulted in a massive public outcry with thousands of ordinary Americans protesting in public areas and airports with signs such as “We are all immigrants.” The protests had a significant impact on how the ban was viewed in general, including by the judges.
However this latest version is failing draw the same level of public opposition as the previous one. This is despite the current version being worse than the earlier one:
- it blocks people from eight countries most of which are Muslim-majority from entering the United States
- it is indefinite as no time limit is specified
Ban Likely To Have Sweeping Impact On Immigration Issues
The outcome of the travel ban case is likely to have an impact on not just the ban issue, but also on the overall issue of immigrants’ rights. According to observers it could be seen as “a bellweather “ for other similar civil rights matters.
Public Involvement Possibly Low Due To Misconceptions
Apart from general weariness, this time around public protests has been muted largely due to three misconceptions:
- The first misconception is that the latest travel ban is less discriminatory than the previous one
The ban is still discriminatory as it targets Muslims but with “a better cover” for that intent. Although this version includes residents of North Korea and Venezuela it is almost mostly focused on a few Muslim countries.
The process followed in it for vetting nationals is aimed at getting the result desired by Trump. Furthermore the president is continuing to express anti-Muslim sentiments publicly
- The second misconception is that the human toll from the new ban is lesser than from the earlier one.
This isn’t true but the human impact is less visible now.
Earlier this year, people were being stopped at the airports which grabbed attention and helped gain sympathy. This time around people are being blocked long before they make it to U.S airports as people aren’t getting visas at all.
- The third misconception comes from earlier court victories against the travel ban which encourages misplaced optimism. Despite victories at the lower courts, the Supreme Court has allowed some part of the ban order to come into effect.
Given that the law is often ambiguous and judges decide on uncertain legal issues based on appeals to conscience, protests take on a great deal of importance.
U.S. citizens must resume their passionate opposition to the ban, and be visible at every place it can create an impact – airports , public squares, social media platforms as well as legislative offices .