UPDATE: Trump Travel Ban Partially Approved by Supreme Court

June 26, 2017 Britni Sehgal

*Update on July 14, 2017: As of Thursday, a federal judge in Hawaii ruled that grandparents and other extended relatives are exempt from the Trump travel ban. The initial ban, which partially took effect on June 29, included those with “bona fide” relationship with a business or relative. According to the State Department, those relationships specifically included parents, parents-in-law, siblings, spouses, children, sons, daughters, fiancés, and sons-in-law and daughters-in-law of those already in the United States. Grandparents, grandchildren and other extended family were not included. For full details, see this article from The Washington Post.

The Supreme Court announced that a limited version of the Trump travel ban will take effect as of the morning of Thursday, June 29.

According to the Supreme Court, the most critical exception to the Executive Order as it stands is that the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

A person from six of the seven mainly-Muslim states identified in the Executive Order – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (excluding Iraq) – without credible claims to an existing relationship in the United States may be lawfully held to the Executive Order and suspended entry for 90 days. Students who have been admitted to a U.S. university would be included in the exception, as would those who are visiting or living with family members in the U.S. “So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address an American audience,” said the Court. A “bona fide” business relationship, according to the ruling, must be one that is “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course.”

Legally speaking, any person from those six counties with a valid work visa or permit should be able to enter the United States. However, the high unpredictability of Customs and Border Protection means that a person could still be questioned longer than usual questioned as to whether his or her job still exists.

Although the ban is back in place, people who have a bona fide offer of employment within the U.S. should still be able to enter the country, regardless of country of origin.

The Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States, popularly known as the Travel Ban, was drafted in January and updated in March 2017. The ban has been under close scrutiny since its drafting in January and its update in March for reasons of national security on the one hand and religious discrimination on the other. Despite today’s ruling, those issues are likely to arise again in a series of court-based disputes, some which may surround the cloudy language identifying “bona fide relationship.”

The Court has not yet decided whether the travel ban itself is constitutional. To this end, it was also announced today that when the Supreme Court reconvenes in October, it intends to hear the full arguments on both sides of this divisive Executive Order.

Read the analysis of the ruling by the Washington Post or see the complete Supreme Court ruling here.

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