Over the weekend President Trump issued an Executive Order banning seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States while placing stricter vetting measures are put into place. The seven countries that have been banned for 90 days are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya. Along with banning these countries from entering the United States, Trump has also barred all refugees from Syria for 120 days.
This executive order has been met with strong backlash resulting in protests that have erupted at major international airlines across the United States. While protestors stand outside the airport, some lawyers have been offering free legal help to the people being detained after the executive order. The lawyers are currently filing habeas corpus petitions to challenge the detention of a few individuals. However, immigrants coming to the United States have no right to counsel because they are not American citizens meaning that if they cannot afford legal counsel no public defender will be appointed to them. On Saturday, a federal judge granted a stay that allows immigrants with legal documents to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
This is not the first time that a president has banned other countries from entering the United States by using executive orders. Former President Barack Obama barred individuals that were “under a UN travel ban” or had “transactions with terrorists” in 2011. He also signed an executive order that restricted the entry of anyone that had “enable[d] human rights abuses by or on behalf of the government of Iran and Syria” in 2012. Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter have also used executive orders to ban certain groups of individuals including Iranian and Cuban citizens. Trump has also stated that the seven nations he has banned were outlined previously as potential terrorist threats by Former President Barack Obama.