CT travelers react to travel ban; Muslim advocacy group issues travel alert

Alvin Kelly
June 27, 2017

The Supreme Court re-instated President Trump's travel ban, in part, and will hear the case in October.

Confusion abounded about exactly how travelers from six Muslim-majority nations could prove a "bona fide relationship" with a person or entity in the USA, exempting them from the ban.

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court ignores the anti-Muslim bigotry that is at the heart of the travel ban executive orders and will inevitably embolden Islamophobes in the administration to expand efforts to target the Muslim community with unconstitutional and counterproductive policies".

The case is Trump's first major challenge at the Supreme Court, where he restored a 5-4 conservative majority with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch, who joined the bench in April.

The ruling allows travel restrictions on some visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Doug Chin said it was "notable" that, at least for now, six of the nine justices determined that people from six primarily Muslim countries will be allowed entrance to the United States as long as they have a "bona fide" connection to a person or other entity here.

What did the court decide about Trump's travel ban?

Lara Finkbeiner, from the International Refugee Assistance Project, which also sued the administration over the ban, said she was "incredibly disappointed with the decision". The Executive Order also exempts foreigners who wish to enter the United States to resume work or study, visiting a spouse, child or parent who is an American citizen or because of important business or professional responsibilities.

The court asked both sides to address the issue of timing, along with questions about whether the ban is aimed at Muslims, the impact of Trump's provocative campaign statements and federal courts' authority to restrain the president in the area of immigration.

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Trump hailed the decision as a "victory for national security", but it's likely to set off a new round of court disputes over anti-terror efforts and religious discrimination.

It's unclear what will ultimately constitute a "bona fide relationship", though the ruling suggested that an American job, school enrollment or a close relative could meet that threshold.

"What the Supreme Court did was say "We're going to narrow the pause that's been put on that travel ban".

And he points out the bill will run its course before the justices review it.

The court said it would take up the travel ban fully in its October term - their ruling Monday only partially lifted lower courts' stays on the measure.

Leon Fresco, deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Immigration Litigation in President Barack Obama's Justice Department, said the effect would seem to be limited to two types of visa seekers who don't have family or other USA ties: those seeking to come to the U.S.as visitors, or those seeking to enter through a lottery meant for people from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S. Chin said he would attend, but that he expected Neal Katyal, the lead attorney for the state in Hawaii v. Trump, would conduct arguments before the court.

The Fourth Circuit based its ruling on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and had concluded that President Trump issued the second executive order because of his "desire to exclude Muslims from the United States". "So it's only for those individuals from those six countries that have no pre-existing relationships with the United States whatsoever".

Hawaii filed its lawsuit February 3, one week after the president issued the original travel ban.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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