On March 6th, President Donald Trump signed a “revised” executive order which restricts travel to the United States from six predominantly Muslim Middle Eastern and North African nations.
That executive order partially reinstated elements of the Administration’s first travel ban, issued in January and blocked in February by a federal court.
The revised travel ban stopped the government from issuing new visas to foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority nations – Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen – and it also suspended the U.S. refugee program and reduced refugee admissions to the U.S. this fiscal year by more than fifty percent.
Five federal district courts and two federal appeals courts acted to block the president’s revised executive order from going into effect.
However, on June 26th, the Supreme Court announced that it will allow a portion of President Trump’s revised travel ban to go into effect.
The justices said that they will hear arguments regarding all of the elements of the revised travel ban when the Supreme Court reconvenes in October.
The good news – for some immigrants – is that the Supreme Court has determined that the government is not allowed to refuse a visa to a mother who is visiting her son, a worker who’s been offered a job, or a student who is admitted to a university – to cite just several examples.
However, the justices also said that persons from the six designated countries who have no such documented or formal relationship with anyone in the United States may be excluded from the U.S. for the ninety days specified by the revised executive order.
HOW DID THE JUSTICES VOTE?
Six of the Supreme Court’s nine justices signed the court’s decision in full. Justices Gorsuch, Alito, and Thomas indicated that they would have approved the revised executive order in its entirety.
Writing for the three dissenters, Justice Thomas said that the compromise will generate a flood of lawsuits – at least through the summer and until the court renders a final decision on the revised travel ban in its next term, which begins in October.
Why did the Supreme Court reject the opinions of the lower courts and allow the Trump Administration to enforce parts of its revised travel ban?
One reason is that the court has repeatedly allowed the executive branch wide discretion in matters of national security, which the court has previously called “an urgent objective of the highest order.”
The June 26 ruling states that a person who is “unadmitted and nonresident” has “no constitutional right of entry to this country.”
Others, however, would contend that the revised travel ban does not actually enhance the nation’s security.
The ban would not have prevented the 9/11 attacks, the Boston Marathon bombing, the shootings in San Bernardino, or the Orlando nightclub massacre.
In fact, none of the perpetrators behind any of these incidents were from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen.
WHAT IS THE IMMEDIATE IMPACT OF THE HIGH COURT’S RULING?
So what is the immediate effect of the revised travel ban and the Supreme Court’s temporary and partial approval of it?
The ruling now allows the Trump Administration to place a 90-day ban on foreign travelers from the six countries as well as a 120-day ban on refugees from any country who have no “bona fide relationship” with any person or entity in the United States.
It’s not clear how many travelers could be affected, but of the 12,998 immigrant visas issued to persons from Yemen last year, 12,563 had immediate family members living in the United States.
Both the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security told NBC News that they are waiting for the Department of Justice to issue guidelines clarifying how the government will enforce the revised travel ban through the summer.
However, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying that enforcement of the revised executive order “will be done professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travelers, and in coordination with partners in the travel industry.”
The revised travel ban does not apply to travelers who currently hold visas. Instead, only those persons who are submitting applications for new visas will be affected.
The Department of Homeland Security has stated that the revised executive order “allows for the proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals.”
However, some immigration experts have expressed concerns that airlines and border agents may not be sufficiently prepared to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision, and they expect a great deal of confusion and inconvenience to travelers this summer.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO END THE CONFUSION?
That confusion and inconvenience will very likely persist until the Supreme Court renders a full, final ruling on the Trump Administration’s revised travel ban.
In fact, there may be more legal fireworks this summer regarding the revised travel ban, even before the Supreme Court reconvenes in the fall.
Just hours after the revised travel ban went into effect in June, the state of Hawaii went to federal court to challenge it, saying the ban affects too many people.
In Honolulu, Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin has asked a U.S. District Judge to stop the Trump Administration from enforcing the revised travel ban this summer.
Hawaii’s attorney general contends that the way the Trump Administration is enforcing the revised travel ban “may be in violation of the Supreme Court ruling.”
Meanwhile, lawyers and immigration advocates are gathering at airports and monitoring hotlines across the country as the revised travel ban goes into effect.
If you or someone you love is affected by the revised travel ban – or by any legal matter related to immigration – it’s imperative to have sound legal advice and top-nitch legal representation.
Arrange at once to speak with a Las Vegas immigration attorney who can review your personal situation and help you resolve the matter successfully.
A qualified immigration lawyer can help you with visa applications, hearings, and anything else that is required by the immigration process.
Immigration law has always been confusing. Every immigration process takes time and patience.
Nevertheless, an experienced immigration lawyer can usually help you to reach your goals in the United States.
If you need a visa, a green card, or an attorney to represent you in immigration court, or if you are trying to reunite your family in the U.S., if are an employer trying to bring workers into the U.S., or if you have any questions or concerns about the revised travel ban or any aspect of U.S. immigration law, contact a skilled Las Vegas immigration attorney for the sound legal advice and immigration-related legal services you need.