Trump Admin Asks Supreme Court to Block Ruling That Allows More Refugees

Violet Powell
September 12, 2017

The Supreme Court on Monday gave a green signal to the request made by Donald Trump administration to lift restrictions on the president's travel ban. The ruling would have allowed refugees to enter the country if they obtained promises of assistance from refugee resettlement organisations. The Hill, BuzzFeed News and Politico have stories on the Justice Department's request.

The 9th Circuit's order requires the administration to admit refugees contracting with resettlement agencies beginning Tuesday, so the high court is likely to move quickly in issuing its own ruling.

Although the 9th Circuit also prohibited the government from banning relatives of someone in the United States, the Justice Department focused exclusively on removing the Appeals Court's protection of refugees who received formal assurance from resettlement entities.

The Justice Department wants to continue that stay, but it is not seeking a stay of a separate portion of the 9th Circuit decision interpreting what constitutes a bona fide relationship. The appeals court ruled that grandparents and cousins of people already in the US can't be excluded from the country under the travel ban.

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As a matter of law, the Supreme Court can't rule on a case that no longer presents an ongoing issue.

Mr. Trump's order halts entry into the United States by citizens of the six banned countries for 90 days and suspends refugee admissions for 120 days. Lower courts had blocked the ban, saying Trump overstepped his authority and unconstitutionally targeted Muslims. It argued that the written assurances provided by resettlement agencies obligating them to provide services for specific refugees is not a bona fide relationship.

Trump administration lawyers told justices on Monday that changing the way it enforces the policy on refugees would allow "admission of refugees who have no connection to the United States independent of the refugee-admission process itself".

The high court on June 26 cleared part of the ban to take effect in the meantime, while saying the USA had to admit at least some people with close relatives in the U.S. A hearing is scheduled for October 10.

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