US Supreme Court Lifts Block on Trump Immigration Ban

Yesterday the US Supreme Court agreed to lift significant elements of lower court orders blocking President Trump’s immigration ban which targeted Visa applicants from six Muslim-majority countries.

A topic that we discussed month’s ago and which has gained a lot of media attention, the nation’s highest court announced that the 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, along with a 120-day suspension of the US refugee resettlement program that may be enforced against those who lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

This new ruling has granted the access of certain parts of the ban to take effect over the summer. The supreme court also agreed to listen to cases made against the legality of Trump’s controversial order in autumn, which will set up a large test of Trump’s executive authority later in 2017. Following the announcement, Trump stated it was a “clear victory for our national security”. In his speech, Trump announced that the ruling would allow the ban “to become largely effective” arguing the presidential order was “an important tool for protecting our Nation’s homeland… As president, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive”.

Trump’s administration hasn’t produced specific evidence yet, outlining the national security threats posted by visitors from the six countries and refugees targeted in the new order. Instead, the US government has relied on broad descriptions of these targeted nations contained in March’s executive order.

Yesterday, the State Department confirmed that the new ruling would take effect within 72 hours. “We will keep those travelling to the United States and partners in the travel industry informed as we implement the order in a professional, organized, and timely way,” said Heather Nauert, a state department spokeswoman.

Heather went on to say that the state would provide further information on the implementation of the order after consultation with the federal bodies involved.

As a whole, the supreme court’s ruling on Monday only grants part of Trump’s administration requests, meaning those with “bona fide” ties to the US, such as family relations or those with placements at American educational institutions, should theoretically granted access to the country. The order also states that persons claiming relationships with family must have “a close familial relationship” with someone in the US. For those claiming a relationship with an entity, such as a university or a workplace, “the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading” the executive order.

Due to the short nature of the ban, concerns have initially mounted that any opposing cases made will only be given a hearing in a few months’ time when the ban may have ended anyway.

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