The U.S. Supreme Court lifted significant elements of orders from lower courts blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries. The high court also agreed to hear full arguments on the ban in the Fall of 2017.
The June 26, 2017 order allows the 90-day travel ban to be enforced against visitors from Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Iran where there is no “credible claim of a bona-fide relationship” with anyone in the United States.
President Trump stated that the ruling was a “clear victory for our national security” and would permit the travel ban to “become largely effective.”
The Supreme Court ruling invites legal challenges over whether a “bona fide relationship” exists for individuals seeking entry. According to the Court, the bona fide ties could be with a person or an entity. If the relationship is with a person, it must be with a close family member, and if it is with an entity, it has to be formal, documented and not created to evade the travel ban. Questions such as how the order will be enforced and how bona fide ties will be proved remain open.
The order has already been challenged. The Trump administration’s interpretation excluded grandparents and refugees with assurances from U.S. refugee resettlement agencies. A U.S. district court in Hawaii ruled against the administration on those issues on July 13, 2017, and the Trump administration filed a motion asking the Supreme Court to clarify its decision. On July 19, 2017, the high court issued an order denying the request for clarification. But the Court did block the part of the district court’s order allowing refugees to enter, and declined to block the part of the order allowing grandparents to enter.