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SCOTUS Reinstates Parts of Travel Ban  06/26 13:39

   The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to go forward with a 
limited version of its ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries, a 
victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his 
young presidency.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to 
go forward with a limited version of its ban on travel from six mostly Muslim 
countries, a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal 
controversy of his young presidency.

   The justices will hear full arguments in October in the case that has 
stirred heated emotions across the nation. In the meantime, the court said 
Monday that Trump's ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and 
Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a "credible claim of a bona fide 
relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

   Trump said last week that the ban would take effect 72 hours after being 
cleared by courts.

   The administration has said the 90-day ban was needed on national security 
grounds to allow an internal review of screening procedures for visa applicants 
from the six countries. Opponents say the ban is unlawful, based on visitors' 
Muslim religion. The administration review should be complete before Oct. 2, 
the first day the justices could hear arguments in their new term.

   A 120-day ban on refugees also is being allowed to take effect on a limited 
basis.

   Three of the court's conservative justices said they would have let the 
complete bans take effect.

   Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the 
government has shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of the case, and 
that it will suffer irreparable harm with any interference. Thomas said the 
government's interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to 
people denied entry into the country.

   Some immigration lawyers said the limited nature of the ban and the silence 
of the court's liberals on the issue Monday suggested that the court had not 
handed Trump much of a victory. They said relatively few people would fall 
under the ban because people coming to study, work or visit family members in 
the United States already have sufficient relationships with others already is 
in the country.

   Trump, though, hailed the high court's order as a "clear victory for our 
national security." He said in a statement that his "number one responsibility" 
is to keep the American people safe.

   The court's opinion explained the kinds of relationships people from the six 
countries must demonstrate to obtain a U.S. visa.

   "For individuals, a close familial relationship is required," the court 
said. For people who want to come to the United States to work or study, "the 
relationship must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, not 
for the purpose of evading" the travel ban.

   The opinion faulted the two federal appeals courts that had blocked the 
travel policy for going too far to limit Trump's authority over immigration. 
The president announced the travel ban a week after he took office in January 
and revised it in March after setbacks in court.

   The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban 
was "rooted in religious animus" toward Muslims and pointed to Trump's campaign 
promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and 
remarks he has made since becoming president.

   The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel 
policy does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on 
nationality-based discrimination. That court also put a hold on separate 
aspects of the policy that would keep all refugees out of the United States for 
120 days and cut by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000, the cap on refugees 
in the current government spending year that ends September 30.

   Trump's first executive order on travel applied to travelers from Iraq and 
well as the six countries, and took effect immediately, causing chaos and panic 
at airports over the last weekend in January as the Homeland Security 
Department scrambled to figure out whom the order covered and how it was to be 
implemented.

   A federal judge blocked it eight days later, an order that was upheld by a 
9th circuit panel. Rather than pursue an appeal, the administration said it 
would revise the policy.

   In March, Trump issued the narrower order.


(KA)

 
 
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