Having promised to ban Muslims from the United States during his campaign, President Trump has repeatedly tried to block travelers from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. His first attempt left thousands of travelers stranded at airports and generated weeks of protests. After federal courts across the country blocked the ban, the Supreme Court allowed it to go into effect in June 2018. Today, it continues to tear apart families.
But the fight against the ban is not over. The Supreme Court’s ruling allowed a lawsuit we filed to continue in the trial court, and we are vigorously working to overturn the ban through litigation. We are also working to promote the NO BAN Act, legislation to overturn the ban.
In addition, a new rule that stems from the Muslim ban requires the nearly 15 million people who apply for visas each year to turn over their social media handles to the U.S. government. These extreme vetting measures are designed to make it harder for people to travel to the U.S. They also facilitate discrimination and ideological vetting by examining travelers’ speech online. The scheme is not justified by national security. The U.S. already has a robust vetting system: From 1975 through 2017, the chance of being murdered by a foreign-born terrorist on U.S. soil was 1 in 3.8 million annually.
Brennan Center for Justice is leading the fight to roll back extreme vetting. We led a successful effort to persuade the administration to back down from its plans to automate extreme vetting of travelers’ social media accounts. But other elements of the program remain in place and have been expanded, and we are continuing to push back against them.