Thu, Sep 14, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Top US court allows ban to stand

FOR NOW:The ruling applies to a federal appeals court decision. The Supreme Court is to hold a hearing on Oct. 10 on the constitutionality of Trump’s executive order

AP and Reuters, WASHINGTON and SAN FRANCISCO, With staff write

The US Supreme Court is allowing US President Donald Trump’s administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees.

The justices granted a request from the Trump administration to block a federal appeals court decision that, according to the US Department of Justice, would have allowed up to 24,000 additional refugees to enter the US before the end of next month than would otherwise have been eligible.

The ruling gives Trump a partial victory as the Supreme Court prepares for a key hearing on Oct. 10 on the constitutionality of Trump’s controversial executive order in January, which banned travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and limited refugee admissions.

It is unclear, though, what will be left for the court to decide.

The 90-day travel ban lapses later this month and the 120-day refugee ban will expire a month later.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has allowed key components of the order to remain in effect. We will continue to vigorously defend the order leading up to next month’s oral argument in the Supreme Court,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Tuesday night.

The administration has yet to say whether it will seek to renew the bans, make them permanent or expand the travel ban to other countries.

Lower courts have ruled that the bans violate the US constitution and federal immigration law.

The Supreme Court has agreed to review those rulings. Its intervention so far has been to evaluate what parts of the policy can take effect in the meantime..

The justices in June said that the administration could not enforce the bans against people who have a “bona fide” relationship with people or entities in the US.

The justices declined to define the required relationships more precisely.

A panel of the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld a district judge’s order that would have allowed refugees from around the world to enter the US if a resettlement agency in the US had agreed to take them in.

The Justice Department had objected, saying the relationship between refugees and resettlement agencies should not count.

The Supreme Court’s unsigned, one-sentence order agreed with the department, at least for now.

The appeals court also upheld another part of the judge’s ruling that applies to the ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Grandparents and cousins of people already in the US cannot be excluded from the country under the travel ban, as the Trump administration had wanted.

The Justice Department did not ask the Supreme Court to block that part of the ruling.

Amnesty International USA senior director of campaigns Naureen Shah said the refugee ban is inherently cruel.

“The Supreme Court today has dealt yet another devastating blow to vulnerable people who were on the cusp of obtaining safety for themselves and their families,” she said.

“They continue to be subjected to unimaginable violence and fear while their lives are in limbo,” she added.

Earlier on Tuesday the state of Hawaii, which challenged the policy, said in a court filing that the US government could still “bar tens of thousands of refugees from entering the country.”

All the 9th Circuit ruling did is “protect vulnerable refugees and the American entities that have been eagerly preparing to welcome them to our shores,” Hawaii’s lawyers said.

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