Ruling in travel ban leads to more questions about lawsuits

Frederick Owens
June 27, 2017

The administration's official legal position is that the Executive Order does not amount to a Muslim ban and is instead aimed at re-examining immigration policy in the interest of national security.

The ban on refugees is also being allowed to take effect on a similar, limited basis. It was blocked on March 15.

The action on Monday was hailed as a win by the right-wing leader, who has insisted the ban is necessary for national security, despite severe criticism that it singles out Muslims in violation of the U.S. constitution.

The ruling means that visitors from the six designated countries can not be banned if they have a family connection in the USA, have a job with an American entity like The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals or Google, or are students at US schools like Case, B.W., Cleveland State, Kent State or John Carroll. Refugees "in transit" and already approved would have been able to travel to the United States under the executive order.

The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban was "rooted in religious animus" toward Muslims and pointed to Trump's campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

He added that the decision would result in a "flood of litigation" until the court issued its ruling.

He says when he first heard about the ban, he anxious he would not be able to go see family without being blocked from returning to finish his studies.

"I fear the court's remedy will prove unworkable", Thomas wrote.

It said Monday that travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen could come to the United States if they have "a bona fide relationship" with a person or entity in the United States.

The court's opinion explained the kinds of relationships people from the six countries must demonstrate to obtain a US visa. But those seeking visas to enter the United States with no such ties could be barred.

The court did two things: it agreed to evaluate the ban next term, and, in the meantime, the court overturned the decisions of lower courts, saying that Trump's administration could enforce its immigration ban against certain people while it waited for the Supreme Court to hear arguments and decide the case.

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The justices at the highest United States court narrowed the scope of lower court rulings that had completely blocked Trump's March 6 executive order.

The court detailed several categories of foreign nationals who should be allowed into the United States: people with a "close familial relationship" to someone in the United States; students admitted to a university in the United States; workers who has accepted an offer of employment from a company in the United States; and lecturers invited to speak to an American audience.

"There's a lot of rights you have when you're in the US that when you travel and try to come back, you no longer have even if you are a lawful permanent resident, even if you have a green card", she said.

"It also could lead to legal challenges amid the "struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a "bona fide relationship, ' who precisely has a "credible claim" to that relationship, and whether the claimed relationship was formed 'simply to avoid" the travel ban", he wrote. "I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive", he said.

Trump issued the order amid rising worldwide concern about attacks carried out by Islamist militants like those in Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin and other cities.

The Iranian government did not immediately comment on the ban, which would apply to Iran and five other Muslim-majority countries.

It is also likely, some immigration lawyers say, to continue pushing immigrants toward Canada, as worldwide students and workers who are anxious about their prospects in the United States try the country to the north instead.

The second travel ban was put in place on March 6, but stopped the exclusion of people from Iraq.

"In theory, you could say if somebody is coming for tourism and has made a reservation for a hotel, there's now a U.S. interest in bringing them to the United States".

During that time, it will be up to Department of Homeland Security officials and the district courts to interpret which individuals have a "bona fide" connection to the United States.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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