U.S. President Donald Trump says a temporary suspension of a travel ban he introduced has put his country "in such peril" — an assertion currently being tested in the courts in what is shaping up to be his administration's first major legal challenge.
The ban, which was issued as an executive order in the name of national security, caused confusion at airports and affected 60,000 foreigners. Here's the latest on where the ban sits now and what lies ahead in the courts.
Is the ban being enforced right now?
People with valid visas from the seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — can now enter the United States. Refugees who were destined for the U.S. before the order was signed will also now be granted entry.
Where does the ban stand now with the courts?
U.S. District Court Judge James Robart on Friday temporarily suspended parts of Trump's executive order. The challenge was put forward by the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota.
Robart's decision drew sharp criticism from the president.
Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!— @realDonaldTrump
The White House then filed an emergency request to resume the ban, but it was rejected by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal appeals court based in San Francisco, on Sunday.
Lawyers for Washington State and Minnesota on Monday submitted a brief from former U.S. officials, including past secretaries of state John Kerry and Madeleine Albright.
They warned, "Blanket bans of certain countries or classes of people are beneath the dignity of the nation and constitution that we each took oaths to protect."
Representatives from tech companies including Apple, Google and Uber also submitted briefs that argued the executive order would hurt their business operations. Hawaii's attorney general has also filed a motion to join the lawsuit opposing the travel ban.
The Justice Department filed its appeal Monday afternoon. The appeals court will hear arguments in the case Tuesday in an hour-long telephone conference.
The three federal appeals court judges — Judge William C. Canby Jr. (an appointee of Jimmy Carter), Judge Michelle T. Friedland (an appointee of Barack Obama), and Judge Richard R. Clifton (an appointee of George W. Bush), will then determine if the ban will be upheld or continue to be suspended. It's unclear when a ruling will come.
What happens next?
Whichever way the federal appeals court rules, the case may ultimately proceed to the Supreme Court, given that both sides are likely to file an appeal. Five of the eight Supreme Court justices would need to agree to overturn Robart's order, otherwise the appeals court's ruling would stand. The court is currently split with four conservative and four liberal judges.
Is there actually support for the ban in the U.S.?
Support for the ban has been difficult to gauge. Immediately after the order was issued, demonstrators gathered in airports across the country to protest the ban. But a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that roughly one in two Americans support the ban while 31 per cent of respondents said it made them feel safer.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English in all 50 states. It gathered poll responses from 1,201 people including 453 Democrats and 478 Republicans. A probabilistic sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Has there been any fallout in Canada?
Canadian residents with citizenship in one of the seven countries affected by the travel ban have had their Nexus memberships revoked, the Canada Border Services Agency said Friday.
Lawyers and law students have set up camp at airports in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver to offer aid to those affected by the ban. Toronto-based Corey Shefman has joined with other lawyers to respond to the changing policies.
Shefman said the evolving situation is causing some confusion.
"We've been telling people and our American colleagues have been telling people, if you think you're going to be affected by the travel ban, travel now and travel quick because we don't know how long this stay is going to last," he said referring to the temporary suspension.