Global News

High Court Sides With Trump on Refugee Entries

High Court Sides With Trump on Refugee Entries

At least for now, the federal government will be able to rely on President Donald Trump's March 6 executive order, often known as the "travel ban", to bar almost 24,000 refugees from entering the country.

The appellate ruling would allow refugees to enter the United States if a resettlement agency in the USA had agreed to take them in.

The judges agreed to an administration request to block a lower court ruling that would have eased the refugee ban and allowed up to 24,000 refugees to enter the country before the end of October.

In establishing guidance for enforcement of the travel ban, the Trump administration concluded that refugees who had received assurances of assistance from resettlement agencies in the US did not have a sufficiently strong relationship with an American entity to warrant exemption from the ban.

Earlier on Tuesday the state of Hawaii, which challenged the policy, said in a court filing that the USA government could still "bar tens of thousands of refugees from entering the country". This Supreme Court decision does not overturn the ruling made by the federal appeals court, but rather freezes it.

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The state of Hawaii and others involved in challenging President Trump's executive order had tried to persuade the Justices, as they did the Ninth Circuit Court, that a promise of resettlement qualified as a sufficient tie to America. In July, after a district court in Hawaii rejected the Trump administration's narrow interpretation of that ruling-according to which most refugees and family members (like grandparents) do not qualify as "bona fide" relations-the Supreme Court deferred, temporarily, to part of the government's view.

Resettlement agencies do not deal with refugees directly until they get here, the government said in its latest filing.

The court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Trump's order next month. The administration did not ask the Supreme Court to block that part of the ruling. The travel ban was supposed to be in effect for 90 to 120 days.

Administration lawyers argued these people did not qualify for an exemption because they had "no contact" or previous relationship with anyone in this country, which was the criteria set under a previous Supreme Court decision.

But still, the Supreme Court's legal opinion matters for any future bans (or renewal attempts).


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