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Will reinstated Trump travel ban cause chaos at Tennessee airports?


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Reactions are mixed to Monday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate portions of President Trump’s immigration ban.

Tennessee Congressional Rep. Scott DesJarlais tweeted “Huge victory for Administration and common sense national security.”  Fellow Republican Diane Black called the decision “Great news for POTUS and the American people.”

The Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is disappointed in the court’s decision, But lead attorney Tom Castelli says he doesn’t expect many mid-state immigrants to be impacted by the renewed restrictions. He says the justices made it clear that immigrants with legitimate connections in the U.S. can’t be rejected out of hand.

“A lot of immigration involves family members coming over to join a family that’s already established residency, established lives and businesses, in the States. So those people won’t be affected.”

Castelli says that while yesterday’s Supreme Court decision is getting a lot of headlines, other federal immigration policy changes instituted by the Trump Administration are also having an outsized impact and bear watching.

“People who have been residents of the United States, and even some who are lawful permanent residents or even citizens that are being…whose livelihoods and family are being threatened by some of these policies.”

Castelli notes that Tennessee’s major airports generally are not initial points of entry for international visitors or immigrants from the restricted countries. So when federal authorities do reinstate travel the travel ban he doesn’t expect to see the kind of chaos at the Nashville or Memphis airports seen elsewhere in the country back in January.

However, he says ACLU Tennessee staff and volunteer attorneys will show up at the state’s airports if immigrants are not being treated appropriately.