Timeline of the Muslim Ban

Friday, January 27, 2017
President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that banned foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from visiting the country for 90 days, suspended entry to the country of all Syrian refugees indefinitely, and prohibited any other refugees from coming into the country for 120 days.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
As the Muslim ban went into effect on Saturday, lawyers from the ACLU-WA and the NW Immigrant Rights Project rushed to SeaTac Airport to help immigrants on incoming flights who were being denied entry to the U.S. The ACLU and NWIRP obtained a court order staying the deportation of two incoming travelers at SeaTac. With support from elected officials and more1,000 protesters, they secured the release of two people in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Sunday, January 29, 2017

A federal judge in New York granted the American Civil Liberties Union’s request for a nationwide temporary injunction blocking the deportation of all people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban.

Four other courts also weighed in, each one a defeat for President Trump. The ACLU is involved in four of the five cases.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The ACLU-WA submitted a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the lawsuit filed in federal court by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Jan. 30 seeking to have key provisions of the President’s Executive Order on immigration declared unconstitutional.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The ACLU-WA joined ACLU affiliates in Montana and North Dakota to file a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the regional U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) office to learn how Trump administration officials are interpreting and executing the president’s Muslim ban.

The filing is part of a coordinated effort from 50 ACLU affiliates, which filed 18 FOIAs with CBP field offices and its headquarters spanning over 55 international airports across the country.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Federal Judge James Robart in Seattle issued an order temporarily blocking President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban executive order nationwide.

“This ruling is another stinging rejection of President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “We will keep fighting to permanently dismantle this un-American executive order."

Saturday, February 4, 2017
Department of Justice appealed Robart’s temporary restraining order of Muslim ban.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The ACLU-WA filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in the Western District of Washington challenging President Trump’s ban on travel by people from seven Muslim-majority nations. The suit says the President’s Executive Order on immigration violates the Constitution as well as federal law.

The ACLU-WA is representing refugees and asylees who reside in Washington and have filed applications to reunify with their family members who have completed and cleared their final security screenings. Plaintiffs also include people who are Washington state residents here legally but who do not currently have a multiple entry visa. They are now trapped inside the country, unable to visit families in their home countries or carry out education-related travel for fear they will be unable to return to their lives here.

Also represented in the suit are two organizations: The Council on American-Islamic Relations-Washington (CAIR-WA), whose work has been greatly impacted by the Order’s violation of the First Amendment’s establishment of religion clause; and the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, whose efforts to fulfill its religious mission of serving refugees have been severely harmed by the ban. The suit says the President’s Executive Order on immigration violates the Constitution as well as federal law.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
ACLU sued Trump on behalf of organizations that resettle refugees, charging his Muslim ban violates First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantees of equal treatment under the law.
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Appeals court refused to reinstate Trump’s Muslim ban

ACLU-WA Legal Director Emily Chiang applauded the appeals court’s decision to leave in place the stay of the President’s Muslim travel ban.

“The unconstitutional ban violates American values and has taken a great toll on innocent individuals. It has ripped apart families in Washington state and around the country,” said Chiang. “Judicial review of actions by the executive branch is an essential part of our nation’s system to uphold the rule of law.”

Monday, March 6, 2017

Trump signs new Executive Order; ACLU vows to fight ‘Muslim Ban 2.0’

Trump’s new order exempts those who already have visas and green cards and removes Iraq from the banned  countries, but it is still religious discrimination in the pretextual guise of national security, and is still unconstitutional, said ACLU Legal Director David Cole.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

District Court judge in Hawaii blocks Trump’s second Muslim ban before it takes effect.

Also on March 15, in U.S District Court in Maryland, the ACLU and partner organizations asked that the ban be halted.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Trump administration  appealed the preliminary injunction blocking the central provision of President Trump’s second Muslim ban executive order that was entered by a federal court in Maryland.

Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and counsel for the plaintiffs in this case, had this reaction to the appeal: “President Trump’s Muslim ban has fared miserably in the courts, and for good reason — it violates fundamental provisions of our Constitution. We look forward to defending this careful and well-reasoned decision in the appeals court.”

Thursday, May 25, 2017
4th Circuit of Appeals, in a 10-3 ruling, upholds the lower court ruling in the MD case that stayed the Muslim ban nationwide.

Outcome of the case in the  9th Circuit Court of Appeals is still pending.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
The U.S. Supreme Court in late June agreed to hear a challenge to the Muslim travel ban and is allowing the government to move forward with a narrowed portion of the ban. The Court’s ruling forbids the government from applying either the 90-day ban on nationals of six countries or the 120-day ban on refugees to any individual who can credibly claim a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the U.S. The ACLU is very concerned that the Trump administration appears to be using an arbitrary limited definition of these relationships that will cruelly and needlessly keep family members apart.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The Supreme Court left in place a lower-court order exempting grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the United States from the Muslim ban. However, it also issued an order that allows refugees with formal assurances from resettlement organizations to be banned unless they have other ties to people or entities in the United States, pending further proceedings.

In the fall, the Supreme Court will hear arguments by the ACLU and partner organizations challenging the Trump’s Muslim ban.
Sunday, September 24, 2017
President Trump signed the third version of his Muslim ban. Like the previous versions, the new ban blocks travel to the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries and now also includes North Koreans and certain Venezuelan government officials. 
These additions do not change the fact that this third version remains a Muslim ban. North Korea accounted for just 61 affected visas last year — out of more than 75 million visitors to the United States. And Venezuela as a country is not banned in any meaningful sense. Only certain Venezuelan government officials and their families are affected, and those individuals are only barred from obtaining tourist and temporary business visas. In contrast, nearly every single person from the Muslim-majority countries is barred from getting a green card, no matter what family, business, or other U.S. connections he or she has.
Trump’s third Muslim ban came about two weeks before the case involving the second version of the ban was to be argued before the Supreme Court. This action led the Court to cancel oral arguments on the earlier version so that the parties could address whether the new order renders the Trump administration’s appeal moot. 
The ACLU filed a letter to the Supreme Court saying the case isn’t moot and asking the court to re-set oral arguments in it. 
Monday, October 16, 2017
The American Civil Liberties Union and partner organizations were in federal court in Maryland seeking to halt the ban.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
A federal court temporarily blocked President Trump’s newest Muslim ban in a ruling in a case brought by the state of Hawaii.
Monday, November 6, 2017
The ACLU of Washington filed a motion in federal court seeking a Preliminary Injunction on behalf of Plaintiff Joseph Doe, a refugee living in Washington state who wants to be reunited with his wife and children, and all others in Washington in similar situations. It challenges the administration’s latest Muslim Travel Ban restrictions, which will indefinitely prevent children and spouses from being allowed to join refugees already admitted to the U.S.
Monday, December 4, 2017
The Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request to temporarily allow the latest Muslim ban to take full effect as the case is litigated. Two federal appeals courts will soon hear separate challenges to the ban. The Ninth Circuit will hear Hawaii’s case on Dec. 6, and the Fourth Circuit will hear the challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and partner organizations on Dec. 8.
Friday, December 22, 2017
Ninth Circuit upholds block on Muslim ban, but Supreme Court lets ban go into effect while it reviews
The Ninth Circuit upholds lower court's ruling blocking Muslim Ban 3.0. However, due to the Supreme Court's order on Dec. 4, the ban remains in effect while the cases are being litigated before the Supreme Court.

This means the Muslim Ban 3.0 and the refugee ban are still in full effect.
Saturday, December 23, 2017
Federal Court blocks refugee ban
A federal District Court granted an injunction to stop the Trump Administration from separating refugees and their families.

“I am very happy that the judge recognized my right to have my family join me here in the United States, and I hope that they can come here as soon as possible,” said plaintiff Joseph Doe.
The judge’s order in the case Doe v. Trump enjoins the Trump Administration from enforcing a policy which would indefinitely prevent children and spouses of refugees from any country from being reunited with their refugee family members already admitted to the U.S.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Court rejects Government’s request to stay injunction against Trump’s refugee ban
The U.S. District Court in Seattle today denied a government motion to stay a nationwide preliminary injunction the Court issued on Dec. 24, 2017, against a Trump Administration policy that indefinitely barred certain refugees and family members of refugees from entering the U.S.

The action came in the case Doe v. Trump, which the ACLU filed on February 7, 2017.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Joseph Doe and his family reunited after court rejects Trump’s refugee ban
Refugee Joseph Doe, plaintiff in, Doe v. Trump, an ACLU-WA suit challenging the Trump administration’s Muslim Ban, was finally able to hug his wife and three children Jan. 18, ending four years of painful separation. The family was reunited at SeaTac airport after a federal court in December granted a nationwide injunction against a ban that would have indefinitely prevented children and spouses from any country from joining refugees like Doe, who have already been admitted to the U.S.

“I am overjoyed to see my wife and children and to be together as a family again,” said Doe. “I am so grateful that the judge recognized my right to have my family join me here in the United States.”
Friday, January 19, 2018
Muslim Ban to go to Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court announces that it will hear challenges to Muslim Ban 3.0. Oral arguments are scheduled for Spring 2018.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Second Circuit Court upholds block on Muslim Ban
The Fourth Circuit upholds lower court’s ruling blocking Muslim Ban 3.0. However, due to the Supreme Court's order on Dec. 4, the ban remains in full effect as the Supreme Court considers the challenges.
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Court rejects government’s attempt to get ACLU-WA case thrown out
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Administration’s attempt to get rid of Doe v. Trump, and remanded it to U.S. District Court to decide whether the case is moot.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
The Supreme Court hears arguments on Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0
In December, the Supreme Court allowed the third and latest version of the ban to go into effect until the legal challenges to it are fully decided. Today, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a challenge to the ban, Hawaii v. Trump.

The ACLU has been counsel in successful challenges to all three versions of the ban, including one now pending before the Supreme Court.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
The Supreme Court upholds Trump's Muslim Ban 3.0
In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s third Muslim ban. As disappointing as this decision is, it does not affect the ACLU of Washington’s case against the Trump Administration’s refugee ban, Doe et al. v. Trump.
This is because plaintiffs in Doe et al. v. Trump have an entirely separate legal claim to have their families reunited with them in the U.S. and those claims were not part of the challenge to the Muslim ban.
Of the Supreme Court’s decision on Muslim ban 3.0, Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said, “This ruling will go down in history as one of the Supreme Court’s great failures. It repeats the mistakes of the Korematsu decision upholding Japanese-American imprisonment and swallows wholesale government lawyers’ flimsy national security excuse for the ban instead of taking seriously the president’s own explanation for his action."
“It is ultimately the people of this country who will determine its character and future. The court failed today, and so the public is needed more than ever. We must make it crystal clear to our elected representatives: If you are not taking actions to rescind and dismantle Trump’s Muslim ban, you are not upholding this country’s most basic principles of freedom and equality.”
Monday, February 10, 2020
After ACLU-WA lawsuit, government agrees to prioritize processing of refugees stymied by travel ban
As part of a settlement agreement in a civil rights lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s ban on refugees, the federal government will now prioritize the processing of dozens of refugee cases affecting hundreds of people in the United States and abroad. 

The settlement resolves two lawsuits that were consolidated, Doe et al. v. Trump et al., and Jewish Family Service of Seattle et al. v. Trump et al. The lawsuits, the first of which was filed by the ACLU of Washington and the law firm of Keller Rohrback L.L.P., challenged the refugee portion of President Trump’s series of Executive Orders banning certain populations from entering the United States, also known as the “Muslim Ban.” The ban prevented the immediate family members of refugees (known as “follow-to-join” refugees), as well as refugees from 11 countries, from entering the United States.