July 25, 2017
On June 26th, the Supreme Court ruled that a narrow portion of the Trump travel ban could go in to effect, even before they issue a final decision on the constitutionality of the ban this fall. However, the court’s decision stopped short of specifying exactly who would be affected by the ban, leaving some details to the Trump administration to sort out.
Specifically, the Trump administration was left to decide two important questions:
1) Which family relationships qualify as a ‘close’ relationship (for the purposes of exempting a traveler from the ban); and,
2) Whether a relationship with a U.S.-based refugee resettlement agency was sufficient to exempt a refugee from the ban.
On June 29th, the administration clarified that a relationship with a refugee resettlement agency would not exempt a refugee from the travel ban, and they also specified which sorts of family relationships would exempt a national from the six affected majority-Muslim countries (Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) from the travel ban. However, a district court in Hawaii found fault with the administration’s decision, and placed another injunction on the ban. Now, the Supreme Court has partially lifted that injunction, meaning that a narrow form of the travel ban can finally be implemented – but only for the following individuals:
Those relationships listed in italics had not been included in the Trump administration’s initial list of qualifying relationships, but will be considered as qualifying relationships following the Supreme Court’s decision.
Put simply: the ban is currently in effect for many refugees who would otherwise have been permitted entry to the U.S., but is in effect for only a very narrow group of Libyan, Iranian, Somalian, Sudanese, Syrian and Yemeni nationals (those with basically no pre-existing ties to the U.S.).
If you or someone you know has questions about the travel ban, please contact an immigration attorney. You can contact the attorneys at Landau, Hess, Simon and Choi by calling 215-925-0705, or by clicking here to request a consultation.