Trump travel ban ruling creates questions for refugees

Alvin Kelly
June 27, 2017

The case has stirred heated emotions throughout the nation and pointed rebukes from lower courts saying the administration is targeting Muslims.

The US Supreme Court delivered a victory this Monday to President Donald Trump approving his provisional ban on entering the United States for travelers from six Muslim countries and for people who do not have strong ties with the United States, adding that they will decide on the legality of that order this autumn. Opponents say the ban is unlawful, based on visitors' Muslim religion. A senior official said plans already had been written to enforce the ban aggressively.

Civil rights and pro-immigration groups have objected to the order as being unconstitutional discrimination against Muslims.

Now a local advocacy group is warning people from the six countries targeted. "I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive", he said.

That's because Trump's order only sought to halt travelers from the six countries for 90 days, to give the administration time to review the screening procedures for those visa applicants. The court agreed to hear arguments in the case in its next term, which begins in October.

The ban will have run its course by then, raising a question of whether the justices will even issue a decision in the case or dismiss it because it has been overtaken by events.

And while the administration can restrict certain groups of people from entering the country beginning as early as Thursday, the answer to what else Trump is legally allowed to do when it comes to immigration may not come until the fall when the justices will hear arguments about the case. Refugees from these countries would be denied entry for a period of 120 days. In the meantime, the executive order will largely go into effect. Neither the State Department nor Homeland Security has yet issued guidelines to refugee agencies on how to handle the Supreme Court stay of the lower courts' action stopping the implementation of the ban.

"My number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe". The official who described the plans was not authorized to discuss them publicly by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. Examples provided of the sort of relationship that qualifies include: (a) the foreign national has a close familial relationship and wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, (b) the foreign national is a student who has been admitted to a USA school, (c) the foreign national accepted an offer of employment from an American company, and (d) the foreign national is a lecturer invited to address an American audience.

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Iranians apply for USA visas in neighboring countries because Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic relations since the 1979 revolution.

Three of the court's conservative justices said they would have let the administration apply the bans without the limits imposed by their colleagues.

Pointing to the plight of Muslim refugees from the countries effected by the ban, Greenblat said that "closing the door to refugees whose very lives are at stake has echoes of when the United States refused to provide refuge and turned away Jews".

Two federal appeals courts had upheld injunctions of varying degrees of severity. The president announced the travel ban a week after he took office in January and revised it in March after setbacks in court.

The Anti-Defamation League expressed mixed feelings in regards to the state of US President Donald Trump's Middle East travel ban. To the Ninth Circuit the government argued that the circuit had engaged in, as the Supreme Court put it, "judicial second-guessing of the President's judgement on a matter of national security".

Immigrant rights advocates welcomed the ruling for showing that the president's authority on immigration is not absolute and ensuring people with connections in the US will be allowed to enter.

Trump's revised measure, announced in March, seeks to bar from USA entry travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, as well as suspend the entry of refugees for 120 days.

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