On Thursday June 29th at 8:00 PM, President Trump’s ban on people traveling from six majority Muslim countries, as allowed by the Supreme Court, went into effect. Travelers from Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan will be banned for 90 days if unable to provide a “bona fide relationship” connection to the United States. The Supreme Court ruled to allow the ban until the Court can hear the case in October and make a final ruling.
Those accepted as “bona fide” include parents, spouses, fiancés, son- or daughter-in-laws, siblings (including step- or half-siblings). The “bona fide” status does not extend to grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws, extended family and grandchildren.
Critics have cited issue with the vagueness of the Court’s ruling, arguing that the narrow definition of the “bona fide relationships” required for entry will cause more delays and chaos.
CNN spoke with David Beir, an immigration policy analyst for the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, who explained that the unclear nature of the Court’s wording gives more freedom to the Trump administration.
“The reality is the Supreme Court didn’t provide anything other than a general statement for President Donald Trump (and his administration) to go off of,” Beir said. “So long as he appears to be acting in good faith in order to implement this order…he is probably going to be within his rights to do so as a Supreme Court has given him those powers now.”
The specifics of the order restrict entry from banned countries for 90 days. That number is extended to 120 days if the traveler is a refugee, despite the fact that there are zero instances, since the instatement of the 1980 Refugee Act, of a person accepted to the U.S. as a refugee having taken part in a major fatal terrorist attack. Further criticisms of the ban cite that the major terrorist attacks, specifically quoted within the ban’s text, experienced by the United States were carried out by people from countries not impacted.
Within the Supreme Court’s ruling, Justices Gorsuch, Thomas, and Alito issued a partial dissent arguing that they would have prefered the travel ban in full effect. “Weighing the Government’s interest in preserving national security against the hardships caused to respondents by temporary denials of entry into the country, the balance of the equities favors the Government,” Thomas wrote in the collective dissent. “I would thus grant the Government’s applications for a stay in their entirety.”
Despite the Court’s motion, advocacy organizations including the ACLU and Amnesty International continue to monitor the situation closely, and are providing presence at certain airports to lend assistance to persons affected.
Media Resources: CNN 06/29/2017, 01/29/2017; White House 04/06/2017, Supreme Court of the United States 06/26/2017