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Court of Appeals in S.F. Rules Against Reinstating Travel Ban

The San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reached a unanimous decision not to grant President Trump's immigration restrictions, but legal challenges are expected. (Ken Lund)
The San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reached a unanimous decision not to grant President Trump's immigration restrictions, but legal challenges are expected. (Ken Lund)
February 10, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Thursday announced its verdict on whether to reinstate the travel ban on some refugees from conflict zones - and voted unanimously to keep the status quo in place and allow those travelers to enter the United States.

The story is far from over, said Democracy Fund senior fellow Daniela Gerson, who teaches journalism with a focus on immigration and ethnic issues at California State University at Northridge. While she isn't surprised by the verdict, Gerson said, what did surprise her is how divisive this issue has been locally.

"The amount of interest this has triggered, and the emotion on both sides, is really extraordinary," she said. "It's nothing I have ever seen, and I'm fascinated to see how that continues to play out, as the story continues to develop."

Gerson's point is underscored by a recent Los Angeles Times review of what California's 54-member congressional delegation has said about the ban. It showed a distinct split down party lines on the question of whether to restrict people's entry into the United States from certain countries.

California often is portrayed as spearheading the so-called sanctuary movement, but its politics reflect more traditional party divisions than secessionist tendencies. Gerson said she'll be watching in the coming weeks to see if this case will have wider implications for Trump's other executive orders.

"I will be watching as the other executive orders are implemented," she said, "and where they're brought to the courts and where they're not - both on local levels, in district courts and then ultimately, also on the national level."

President Trump's order flagged travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations. Supporters of the ban have said these nations contain active sponsors of terrorism and that the president should have the authority to institute such a ban. The Trump administration could continue to push the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The appeals court's decision is online at cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov. The Times article is at latimes.com.

Logan Pollard, Public News Service - CA