The US Supreme Court has given permission to President Donald Trump’s administration to fully enforce the controversial travel ban that bars people from six countries with a Muslim majority from entering the country
The court said in an order that the policy can be rolled out even as legal challenges filed against it continue in courts. Two of the nine judges dissented to the order.
The ban is applicable to citizens of Iran, Chad, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria.
Latest Ban Third Version
Announced in September, the latest ban is the third version of Trump’s order and was challenged immediately after it was announced in the appeals courts of Virginia and California.
Lower courts had indicated just before the ban came into effect that portion of the ban must be suspended until legal challenges are dealt with. But the Supreme Court’s order supersedes the injunctions of the lower courts and will allow the ban to come into full effect.
The court noted in its order that the appeals courts reviewing the ban must decide quickly on its legality.
Lower courts previously put in restrictions on the ban’s scope with respect to applicants and refugees having a “bona fide” relationship with U.S. residents. The US Department of State earlier this year expanded the definition of “close family” to comprise grandparents and other such relatives to constitute a “bona fide” relationship for those looking to enter the country from the six countries mentioned in the list.
Ruling Not Considering Legal Merits
The ban has been widely criticised across board. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has challenged the ban, noted that the Supreme Court ‘s orders were ” not a ruling on the merits”.
Karen Tumlin, the legal director for the National Immigration Law Centre, also agreed pointing out that the Supreme Court hadn’t “addressed the legal merits of the latest Muslim ban nor the human impacts with its order today”.
The latest version of the ban bars people from North Korea and some government officials from Venezuela. The courts have allowed these provisions to be implemented.
According to the Trump administration, the ban targets residents from countries who do not provide sufficient information for the thorough vetting of the travellers.