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Michigan organizations will push forward with lawsuit despite Supreme Court travel ban decision

Protesters against the initial travel ban at Detroit Metro Airport, Jan. 30.
Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio
After the Supreme Court's ruling that Trump's "travel ban" is constitutional, Michigan organizations are continuing to fight the restriction.

The ACLU of Michigan and the Arab American Civil Rights League will continue to fight President Trump's travel ban, despite a Supreme Court ruling Tuesday morning that the ban is constitutional.

The travel ban, first imposed in January 2017 as the result of an executive order, restricts entry to the United States from several Muslim-majority Arab countries.

After much legal back-and-forth in the last year and a half, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-to-4 decision Tuesday that regulating immigration is within the scope of the President’s abilities.  

While the White House views this as a major victory, the ACLU of Michigan and other activist organizations are calling it a failure on the part of the Supreme Court.

“Five justices of the Supreme Court betrayed American values today by turning a blind eye to the obvious facts that President Trump implemented the travel ban because of his strong bias against Muslims,” says Michael Steinberg, the ACLU of Michigan’s legal director.

The ruling especially resonates with some Michigan communities. Dearborn, Michigan is home to one of the largest Arab communities outside of the Middle East.

Steinberg says this makes it all the more important for his organization to continue fighting the ban. So they’ll push forward with a lawsuit they filed alongside the Arab American Civil Rights League last year on behalf of their members in Michigan.

The lawsuit, which is largely based on religious discrimination, focuses on Michigan-based individuals but would have national implications if ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.

However, Steinberg suspects today’s ruling will make their claim of religious discrimination “almost impossible” to argue.

“That case is not over, but the decision today is truly a defeat for all those who are living in a country free of religious discrimination,” he says. “[This ban is] separating families, it's separating spouses, and it's undermining the American dream.”

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