WATCH | Could the new ban on electronics on planes from the Middle East be a factor for the courts ruling on Trump’s immigration Executive Order?
The Department of Homeland Security cited major security concerns when they issued their new restrictions for carry-on electronics for flights headed to the United States from 10 specific Middle Eastern airports. The countries impacted are very close to those listed in President Trump’s travel ban executive order. So, how might this new threat impact the ongoing legal battles for the travel ban? President Trump says his executive order pausing immigration from six Muslim-majority countries was prompted by national security concerns.
“We have no idea who they are, where they come from. There's no documentation. There's no paperwork. It's going to end badly folks. It's going to end very, very badly," Trump said last year when discussing how we need to have more secure immigration.
Now threats of terrorism have been highlighted in the Department of Homeland Security’s new ban on certain electronics being carried onto airplanes headed to the United States, which could give Trump's lawyer fodder when they defend his executive order in courts.
Currently, the travel ban is in legal limbo. The courts ruled against Trump, saying it’s unconstitutional because it targets people's religion. Trump, however, has pledged to appeal.
This DHS electronics order came on the heels of a recent laptop bombing of a commercial flight in Somalia--one of the six countries Trump targeted in the ban.
This new DHS order impacts airports in eight neighboring countries.
The six countries Trump's immigration executive order applies to.
The eight countries who have airports impacted by the DHS directive.
So, will the Trump administration be able to use this new threat as proof that his order is based on national security?
“They can argue whatever they like, they’ll cite in their briefs that the DHS order was issued because of a concern about security," said Peter Schuck of Yale Law school and author of One Nation Undecided: Clear Thinking about Five Hard Issues That Divide Us.
But will the argument be effective?
“I don’t think it will add anything to the strength or weakness of his argument on the executive order," Schuck said.
We asked the Department of Justice about its strategy in the appeals courts, but it didn’t tip its hat one way or the other.