The United States Supreme court (SCOTUS) in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project has partially allowed President Trump’s Travel Ban order that imposes a ban on entry of individuals from six countries namely, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Allowing the petition for certiorari and partially allowing the stay applications on preliminary injunctions granted by the lower courts, Supreme Court narrowed the scope of these injunctions.
This order means that the proposed travel ban cannot not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. All foreign nationals (from the six countries mentioned in the Executive Order) will be subjected to the provisions of the Executive Order.
According to the order, a foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member clearly has a relationship to qualify for exemption from the said Executive Order however, no connection established in order to evade the said Executive Order would qualify.
As for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course. Students from the designated countries who have already been admitted to a University have such a relationship with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address an American audience. Not someone who enters into a relationship simply to avoid the Executive Order.
President decided to revoke the earlier Executive Order after injunction was granted by lower courts and a second order was issued on March 6, 2017 called Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, with following directives -
(i) It directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a global review to determine whether foreign governments provide adequate information about nationals applying for United States visas.
(ii) It directs the Secretary to report his findings to the President within 20 days of the order’s “effective date,” after which time those nations identified as deficient will be given 50 days to alter their practices.
(iii) It directs that entry of nationals from six of the seven countries designated in EO–1—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—be “suspended for 90 days from the effective date” of the order. EO–2 explains that this pause is necessary to ensure that dangerous individuals do not enter the United States while the Executive is working to establish “adequate standards to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists”; in addition, suspending entry will “temporarily reduce investigative burdens on agencies” during the Secretary’s 20-day review.
(iv) It suspends “decisions on applications for refugee status” and “travel of refugees into the United States under the USRAP” for 120 days following its effective date. During that period, the Secretary of State is instructed to review the adequacy of USRAP application and adjudication procedures and implement whatever additional procedures are necessary “to ensure that individuals seeking admission as refugees do not pose a threat” to national security.
(v) Citing the President’s determination that “the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States,” the said order suspends any entries in excess of that number” for this fiscal year.
Court concluded that the said Executive Order itself distinguishes between foreign nationals who have some connection to this country, and foreign national who do not, by establishing a case-by-case waiver system primarily for the benefit of individuals in the former category.
Although, the petitions for certiorari were granted, stay applications on injunctions granted by lower courts was partially granted.
Which also means, that the ban may not be enforced against an individual seeking admission as a refugee who can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.
Three of the judges of the Supreme Court- Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch observed that the Government is likely to succeed on merits of the case. Supreme court will hear the complete arguments in this case in October.