In an order dated June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the government’s appeal of two lower court decisions blocking President Trump’s executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending the U.S. refugee program for 120 days. In the meantime, the order also effectively narrowed the preliminary injunctions on the travel ban for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The order allows the ban to take effect except for individuals “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Examples given by the Court of people who would likely have the required “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. entity might be individuals with a close family relationship with someone in the U.S., students admitted to a U.S. school, workers with an offer of employment, and lecturers invited to address an American audience.
The mechanics of how an individual will be expected to prove the bona fide relationship with a U.S. entity and who will bear the burden of proof are not clear from the Court’s order. Guidance from the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security will likely address this in the coming days and weeks.
Following the Court’s order, the revived travel ban and refugee ban will likely take effect on Thursday, June 29, 2017. If the ban becomes effective on June 29, 2017, then it would end 90 days later, on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. The Court could hear arguments on the merits of the executive order as soon as October, 2017.
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