The US Supreme Court today decided to reinstate the second travel ban created by Executive order from President Trump. The ban halted any immigration to the US from six countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) and was to last for 90 days, while the government reviewed its procedures for vetting immigrants. Refugees were barred from the US for 120 days.
The ban was quickly stayed by lower courts in Hawaii and Maryland, following lawsuits. Today, however, the Supreme Court lifted the stays and said that it would hear full arguments when it reconvenes in the fall. By that point, of course, the issue may be moot as the 90 days will have expired.
The Supreme Court made an exception to the ban for “..... foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” In addition, "...the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading [the travel ban]" One question being raised by immigration lawyers is: who will decide whether there is a "bona fide relationship"?
In the unsigned opinion, the court said that a foreign national who wants to visit or live with a family member would have such a relationship, and so would students from the designated countries who were admitted to a U.S. university. The court also included workers with an offer of employment in the US, thereby allowing workers applying for H-1B, L-1, and other visas to come to the US.
We will monitor the implementation of this ban very closely. If you have any questions, please contact us directly.
More details here.
Full decision here.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.