DOJ Petitions Supreme Court To Overturn Lower Court's Limits on Travel Ban

The Supreme Court has granted the Trump administration's request to temporarily lift restrictions on the President's travel ban, quashing an opportunity for tens of thousands of refugees to enter the country. Such a relationship can arise from a close family member in the United States, or from something like a job offer from an American company or an offer of admission to an American university.

The administration is not challenging the part of the ruling that applies to a temporary ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries.

The appeals court decision, which affects about 24,000 refugees, could take effect on Tuesday.

Resettlement agencies argued that their commitment to provide services for specific refugees should count as a "bona fide" relationship. The Supreme Court in July largely upheld that ruling, though it put on hold the portion dealing with refugees. But the Supreme Court refused to go along with the administration's view that it could keep out grandparents, cousins and some other family members.

The government said formal assurances from a refugee agency that may not have had direct, personal contacts with the refugee were not covered in that exception.


The administration told the court Monday said 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".

It's not clear what the Justice Department hopes to gain by appealing this injunction against Trump's executive order, as the Supreme Court was already set to hear arguments on the ban's legality on October 10.

In a brief filed with the Supreme Court, Justice Department lawyers said that a three-judge panel from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong to exempt those refugees who have a contractual commitment from resettlement organizations.

As lower courts and the Supreme Court weighed in on the travel and refugee bans in recent months, the US refugee program has lurched from an ambitious projection of 110,000 arrivals for the year, to just a few hundred arrivals a week.

Under the terms of Trump's order, the 90-day travel ban would end before the arguments even happen - on September 27.


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