Trump administration launches bid to lift restrictions on 'Muslim ban'

The Justice Departments wants to keep out refugees who are partnered with a refugee resettlement organisation

Emily Shugerman
New York
Monday 11 September 2017 18:11
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Supporters celebrate the inauguration of President Donald Trump outside the US Supreme Court building
Supporters celebrate the inauguration of President Donald Trump outside the US Supreme Court building

The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to intervene once again on behalf of the President's partially reinstated travel ban.

The Justice Department filed an emergency application to bar a 9th Circuit Court ruling that would allow refugees to enter the country if they have a formal agreement with a refugee resettlement agency. The decision would affect some 24,000 refugees who have been assigned to an agency, but have yet to be resettled in the US.

Mr Trump's travel ban, which the Supreme Court partially reinstated in June, bars residents of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US unless they have a "bona fide relationship" with a family member in the country.

The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court ruled last week to extend the list of family members exempted from the ban. They also ruled to exempt those refugees with an arrangement with a US-based aid group – something the Trump administration took issue with.

In its emergency petition to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department wrote that the decision – set to take effect tomorrow – would "disrupt the status quo and frustrate orderly implementation of the Order’s refugee provisions".

"The Court can and should prevent further uncertainty and disruption by staying the court of appeals’ ruling with respect to refugee assurances," the Justice Department wrote.

The Department is not asking for the decision on family members to be reconsidered at this time.

The debate first started in June, when a Hawaii judge ruled that those who had an agreement with a resettlement agency should be allowed in. The Supreme Court intervened, saying the 9th Circuit Court should decide.

Now, the Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to intervene again, and block the 9th Circuit Court's decision.

The Supreme Court recently announced that they would rule on the full travel ban on 10 October. Its decision to allow parts of the travel ban to take effect in the meantime was labelled a victory by the Trump administration. The controversial policy had been plagued by lawsuits, and prevented from taking effect, since it was issued in January.

"Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation’s homeland," Mr Trump said at the time. "I am also particularly gratified that the Supreme Court’s decision was 9-0.”

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