USA top court temporarily upholds Trump's refugee ban

A protester rallies against Trump's travel ban. Image courtesy of Alba Vigaray European Press

The ruling would have allowed refugees to enter the country if they obtained promises of assistance from refugee resettlement organisations.

In a one-sentence order issued Monday afternoon, Justice Anthony Kennedy - who has jurisdiction over the 9th circuit - granted the government a temporary stay until Tuesday in order to give the challengers time to respond to the government's petition.

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 Supreme Court allowed parts of Trump's executive order to take effect in June while saying those who have a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States" should be exempted.

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to uphold President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees from entering the USA, hours before it was set to be upended, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency. That decision is set to take effect Tuesday, and as many as 24,000 refugees have received such assurances, the administration said in papers filed with the high court.

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

Last week, the lower court narrowed the scope of the travel ban for extended family members such as grandparents and refugees.

Trump signs his immigration executive order limiting residetns of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Image courtesy of Reuters
Trump signs his immigration executive order limiting residetns of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Image courtesy of Reuters

"This Court's ruling can not plausibly bear that construction, which would as a practical matter render the partial stay this Court granted as to the refugee provisions a dead letter", the administration said.

Resettlement agencies argued that their commitment to provide services for specific refugees should count as a "bona fide" relationship.

Thursday night, the 9th Circuit Appellate Court struck another blow to Trump's second, scaled down travel order.

The six countries included in the general travel ban are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.

By that point, the original 90-day travel ban will have lapsed and the 120-day refugee ban - with certain allowances by the Trump administration for special cases - will have just a few weeks to run.

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".

Related news: