Supreme Court to review Trump travel ban

The US Supreme Court on June 26 agreed to review (PDF) the Trump administration's travel ban, partially lifting the temporary injunction that had blocked the ban's enforcement. The administration sought review of decisions issued by the US Courts of Appeal for the Fourth and Ninth circuits last month. The Supreme Court's order permits execution of the travel ban, but it "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."

The opinion, which was delivered per curiam, states that the lower courts' injunctions

bar enforcement of [the travel ban] against foreign nationals abroad who have no connection to the United States at all. The equities relied on by the lower courts do not balance the same way in that context. Denying entry to such a foreign national does not burden any American party by reason of that party's relationship with the foreign national. And the courts below did not conclude that exclusion in such circumstances would impose any legally relevant hardship on the foreign national himself. So whatever burdens may result from enforcement of [the ban] against a foreign national who lacks any connection to this country, they are, at a minimum, a good deal less concrete than the hardships identified by the courts below.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, dissented in part by asserting that "the preliminary injunctions entered in these cases should be stayed, although I would stay them in full."

Cases concerning issues of immigration from predominantly Muslim countries continue to be processed in the federal judiciary. The US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan last week temporarily blocked the deportation of more than 100 Iraq nationals, arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, for approximately two weeks, during which time the court will decide whether it has jurisdiction in the matter. In May a federal district court in Washington granted a temporary restraining order to allow legal aid groups to continue to provide certain kinds of assistance to undocumented immigrants.

From Jurist, June 26. Used with permission.

Note: Earlier this month the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against the majority of Trump's revised executive order limiting travel from six Muslim-majority countries. 

  1. Federal judge postpones removal of Iraqi nationals

    A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on July 6 extended his ruling that Iraqi nationals with orders to leave the US cannot be deported for another two weeks. The order temporarily blocks the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals until July 24. The American Civil Liberties Union, representing the Iraqi nationals, cited "fears of persecution, torture or even death upon return to their country." The US attorney general had argued that the district court did not have jurisdiction over the issue, instead arguing that it should be up for the immigration courts to decide. (Jurist)

  2. SCOTUS allows enforcement of travel ban against refugees

    Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order Sept. 11 staying a lower court ruling and allowing enforcement of the Trump administration travel ban against refugees.

    The Justice Department had filed an emergency application to block a new Ninth Circuit decision that would have exempted refugees from the ban.

    The Ninth Circuit weighed in on what constitutes a bona fide relationship, in accordance with a previous Supreme Court order in relation to the travel ban. The appeals court ruled that those who have a relationship with a resettlement agency should be exempt from the court order, dealing a blow to the defined terms that the administration have been seeking. The Ninth Circuit decision was set to go into effect Sept. 12 if the high court had not acted.

    The Supreme Court has already ruled on certain aspects of the executive order, including affirming part of a decision from the Ninth Circuit in July, which exempts grandparents from the travel ban. The Court is set to hear arguments from both sides in October. (Jurist)

  3. SCOTUS allows Trump travel ban

    In a one-sentence order issued Sept. 12, the Supreme Court blocked a Ninth Circuit ruling in the matter of Trump v. Hawaii, thereby allowing the administration's travel ban to go into effect. The unsigned order from the court grants a request from the Trump administration to stay the decision of the Ninth Circuit as the case proceeds. The justices are expected to hear arguments related to the case on Oct. 10. (Jurist)

  4. SCOTUS orders new briefs on Trump travel ban

    The Supreme Court on Sept. 25 removed the travel ban cases from its calendar and ordered both sides to file new briefs in light of President Trump's proclamation the previos day that instated new restrictions to enter the US for citizens from eight countries—adding Venezuela, North Korea and Chad to Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. (Jurist)

  5. Federal judge in Hawaii blocks new travel ban

    A judge for the US District Court for Hawaii on Oct. 17 blocked implementation of the latest version of Trump's so-called travel ban. The court found the new version violates the Immigration and Nationality Act's prohibition on nationality-based discrimination. (Jurist)

  6. SCOTUS allows enforcement of revised travel ban

    The US Supreme Court on Dec. 4 allowed enforcement of the Trump administration's revised travel ban pending further court proceedings. One order (PDF) stays the lower court decision in Trump v. Hawaii, currently pending before the Ninth Circuit. A second order (PDF) stays the lower court decision in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, currently pending before the Fourth Circuit. (Jurist)

  7. Ninth Circuit upholds injunction against third travel ban

    The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld (PDF) an injunction against President Trump’s third travel ban on Dec. 22. The three-judge panel stated that under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the President must first “make a legally sufficient finding that the entry of the specified individuals would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States.'” The panel found that the President, even in light of the review period  included in the revised travel ban, did not make such a finding. (Jurist)

  8. US extends temporary protective status for Syrians

    The US Department of Homeland Security on Jan. 31 extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for certain Syrian immigrants. The TPS is extended for 18 months and affects 7,000 Syrians in the US who benefit from that designation. Current eligibility for Syrian TPS  requires that individuals must have resided in the US since August 2016 and be continuously present in the US since October 2016. Those arriving after this period must seek other forms of immigration relief. Advocates have criticized the administration's decision not to extend TPS benefits to Syrians who had not already had TPS . (Jurist)

  9. Injunction on third Trump travel ban upheld

    The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 15 upheld (PDF) a lower court's preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of US President Donald Trump's most recent travel ban. The appellate court concluded, based on "official statements from President Trump and other executive branch officials, along with the Proclamation itself… that the Proclamation is unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam." (Jurist)