14 September, 2017
In the meantime, the court said travelers from the six targeted Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - can bypass the travel ban and enter the USA if they can prove they have a "bona fide" relationship with a US person or entity.
The Trump administration said in its emergency motion on Monday that the federal court ruling, which was supposed to take effect on Tuesday, would have allowed up to 24,000 additional refugees into the country.
The court's brief order effectively reversed part of an appeals court ruling that had lifted the travel ban's restrictions on the nation's refugee program. In July, the Supreme Court intervened, requiring the administration to expand the definition of close family, but stayed the injunction on refugee resettlement and sent it to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit for review. The Justice Department has stated that approximately 24,000 refugees have such assurances now.
In his first days in office, Trump capped the number at 50,000 as part of a temporary travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The US Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the administration to maintain its policy on refugees.
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The ruling would have allowed refugees to enter the country if they obtained promises of assistance from refugee resettlement organisations.
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But its specific wording - and the fact that the Justices had acted on only one of a series of new requests by the Administration - suggested that the court was giving itself the option of reexamining the issue within the next few days, or perhaps later.
The Supreme Court will ultimately decide the fate of the travel ban as a whole.
In a ruling last week, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins of legal US residents would be exempt from the travel ban. The judges made numerous references to Trump's alleged anti-Muslim bias in their respective decisions to block the order. The Ninth Circuit held that the "written assurance [a refugee resettlement] agency submits [to the State Department]..." creates a "bona fide relationship" as described by the Supreme Court.
In response, lawyers for Hawaii, which is challenging the travel ban, said the administration was mistaking form for substance. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on October 10 on the legality of the bans.
The Justice Department had not sought a stay of that portion of the decision, though it disagreed with the interpretation.