The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Donald Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees, squashing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have eased the travel ban to allow 24,000 refugees to enter the country before October end.
As per Washington Post, the travel ban blocks travellers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days, whereas the refugee ban is for 120 days. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on 10 October on the legality of the bans on travellers from six mostly Muslim countries and refugees anywhere in the world, reported The Guardian. It is unclear, though, what will be left for the court to decide. The 90-day travel ban lapses in late September and the 120-day refugee ban will expire a month later. The legal battle has been continuing since January, when Trump rolled out the first version of the ban.
The recent decision has stemmed from the ruling in June, wherein the Supreme Court had allowed for a partial travel ban against the six countries, by adding an exemption for people who have a ‘bona fide’ relationship with people or entities in the United States.
However, the interpretation of bona fide relationships was the bone of contention. Last week, the 9th Circuit ruled that the administration could block neither grandparents nor refugees with assurances, but the administration objected, saying the relationship between refugees and resettlement agencies should not count.
The Justice Department this week asked the Supreme Court to step in again, only to block refugees who have formal assurances but lack connections that exempt them from the ban, leaving alone the ruling that exempted grandparents and other extended family members from the ban.
“The absence of a formal connection between a resettlement agency and a refugee subject to an assurance stands in stark contrast to the sort of relationships this court identified as sufficient in its June 26 stay ruling,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in his filing.
“Unlike students who have been admitted to study at an American university, workers who have accepted jobs at an American company, and lecturers who come to speak to an American audience, refugees do not have any free-standing connection to resettlement agencies, separate and apart from the refugee-admissions process itself, by virtue of the agencies? assurance agreement with the government,” the filing said.
“Nor can the exclusion of an assured refugee plausibly be thought to ‘burden’ a resettlement agency in the relevant sense,” Wall added.