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Supreme Court allows parts of travel ban to go into effect

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court Monday allowed parts of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to go into effect and will hear oral arguments on the case this fall.

The court is allowing the ban to go into effect for foreign nationals who lack any “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States.”

The court, in an unsigned opinion, left the travel ban against citizens of six majority-Muslim on hold as applied to non-citizens with relationships with persons or entities in the United States, which includes most of the plaintiffs in both cases.

Examples of formal relationships include students accepted to US universities and an employee who has accepted a job with a company in the US, the court said.

This is the first time the high court has weighed in on the travel ban, and a partial victory for the Trump administration, which has been fighting lower court rulings blocking the ban from taking effect.

The ban, which bars people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days — outside of the “bona fide” relationship exception — could take effect in as little as 72 hours.

Trump called the decision “a clear victory for our national security.”

“As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm,” he added in a statement. “I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.”

What’s next?

How officials implement the ban could cause chaos at airports, similar to what happened when President Trump’s first travel ban executive order was written in January.

“That’s going to be an extreme headache. Think about how the people at the border, at airports are going to make that decision,” said Page Pate, CNN legal analyst. “Who is going to make this decision? If we leave it to the folks on the front line, that’s just going to lead to more litigation.”

President Trump signed a memorandum earlier this month which states that administration officials shall begin implementation of the parts of the order that are allowed to go forward 72 hours after the court rules.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement it will discuss the court’s action with the Justice and State departments and said it would implement the ban “professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travelers, and in coordination with partners in the travel industry.”

As for refugees, the court held that a person seeking refuge in the US can claim “concrete hardship” — but in the end, if they “lack any such connection to the United States … the balance tips in favor of the government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.”

 

This is President Trump’s second attempt to install a travel ban.

The first executive order was issued one week into his term, and sought to bar people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days.

After it was blocked by the courts, the President tried again in March with a revised version that didn’t include Iraq and was meant to clarify problems of the first order that created uncertainty about the rights of dual citizens and holders of US visas.

It had been blocked by courts on both constitutional and statutory grounds.