NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – For the second time in a week, government lawyers are trying to persuade federal judges that President Trump’s travel ban isn’t designed to discriminate against Muslims.
On Monday, a 3-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled hearings in Seattle, over Hawaii’s lawsuit challenging the travel ban. The hearings began at around noon, for what is arguably one of the President’s most controversial executive orders. The ban temporarily suspends the nation’s refugee program and bans citizens from 6 Muslim-majority countries.
“They’re trying very intentionally not to allow people because of the color of their skin and what they believe in from coming to this country,” says Erin Long of Easthampton, “when we all come from all over the world.” Meanwhile, the Trump administration is trying to convince the appellate court that the ban is motivated by national security concerns, and not religious bias.
The ban would mean that the Northampton Refugee Resettlement program would have to be put on hold, after it’s been delayed several times because of this ban.
“I don’t care how they word it and phrase it, it’s unconstitutional,” says Jada of Springfield. “It’s biased. It’s religious bias.”
This is the second travel ban created by the Trump administration. The first one issued in January led to street demonstrations and protests at airports before it was blocked by courts. This second revised ban was suspended by judges before it could take effect in mid-March.
This case could ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.