Non-Discrimination in Refugee and Asylum Law (Against Travel Ban 1.0 and 2.0)
66 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2019
Date Written: January 2018
This article explores the tension between Executive Orders No. 13,769 and No. 13,780 — colloquially known as “travel ban” 1.0 and 2.0 — and the deep non-discrimination norms in refugee and asylum law. I engage in a close read of the legislative history of the Refugee Act of 1980; analyze the 1951 Refugee Convention and subsequent international human rights treaties; provide a novel and in-depth analysis of U.S. statutory, regulatory, and case law interpretations of the refugee definition via the framework of non-discrimination; and examine the structural aspects and standards governing refugee admissions. I argue these sources collectively disallow invidious discrimination against refugees on the basis of religion or national origin. My analysis fills a gap in the literature as the academy and the public continue to debate the permissibility of the travel ban and its iterations.
Keywords: refugee law, asylum law, executive orders, travel ban, immigration law, refugee admissions
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