United States top court temporarily upholds Trump's refugee ban

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The Supreme Court has granted the Trump administration's request to temporarily lift restrictions on the President's travel ban, quashing an opportunity for tens of thousands of refugees to enter the country.

A 9th Circuit order, due to take effect on Tuesday, would have cleared the way for as many as 24,000 refugees who have "a sponsorship-assurance agreement" with a USA -based refugee-resettlement agency, the government said.

At issue is whether the president can block a group of about 24,000 refugees with assurances from entering the United States after the Supreme Court decided in June to permit a limited version of his travel ban to take effect. The appeals court ruled that grandparents and cousins of people already in the USA can't be excluded from the country under the travel ban.

Although Trump initially coupled this refugee ban with his broader Muslim Ban, Kennedy's order still leaves several previous court decisions limiting the Muslim Ban in place.

If the measure is considered to have taken effect from when the Supreme Court allowed a partial version of it, the 90 days will have passed by the time the justices hear arguments, and the 120 days are very likely to have passed by the time they issue a decision. The Justice Department said it disagreed with that interpretation, but noted the U.S. Supreme Court had refused to disturb that finding pending appeal.

The case is Trump v. Hawaii, 16-1540.

Last week, a federal appeals court panel weighed in, deciding that the administration could block neither grandparents nor refugees with assurances.

In Monday's court filing, the department said the 9th Circuit's decision on the refugee ban "will disrupt the status quo and frustrate orderly implementation of the order's refugee provisions".

That ruling upheld a district court's order.

Under the terms of Trump's order, the 90-day travel ban would end before the arguments even happen - on September 27.

Last week, the lower court narrowed the scope of the travel ban for extended family members such as grandparents and refugees.

The administration told the court Monday said that changing the way it enforces the policy on refugees would allow "admission of refugees who have no connection to the United States independent of the refugee-admission process itself".

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