The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on President Trump’s travel ban.
The controversial ban suspends entry of foreign nationals from six countries identified as presenting heightened terrorism risks — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The original order resulted in chaos at airports around the country, and it was immediately challenged and blocked by a Federal District Court.
Rather than appeal, the government revoked and revised the order. All references to religion were removed, and national security was highlighted as the principle motivator. Again, a Federal District Court was not satisfied and issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of key provisions. This time, however, the government appealed. The District Court ruling was unsuccessfully challenged in the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fourth Circuit upheld the injunction on constitutional grounds, while the Ninth Circuit grounded its opinion in existing federal law.
In response, the government petitioned the Supreme Court. It asked the Court to hear the case and to grant a stay on the preliminary injunction blocking the travel ban. Both requests were granted. In its brief, the government argued that the Court of Appeals erred by not upholding the travel ban based on the “facially legitimate and bona fide” justification of protecting national security. In making this claim, it points to statutory provisions authorizing the President to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens” to this country “ to prevent the government from … enforcing §2(c) against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.”
The Court applied this reasoning to the suspension of refugee admissions and the refugee cap as well. Refugees who lack a bona fide connection to the U.S. will be denied entry. If such a relationship exists, however, the lower court injunctions DO NOT apply. That person may be admitted, even if the 50,000-person cap has been reached.
Berardi Immigration Law will continue to closely monitor this and will be sure to keep our clients informed every step of the way. Be sure to frequently check our blog for the most up-to-date and accurate information!