Supreme Court issues temporary refugee ban order

Illustrative Outside the US Supreme Court after it was announced that the court will allow a limited version of US President Donald Trump's travel ban to take effect

The US Supreme Court kept the Trump administration's strict refugee ban in place Monday, at least temporarily dashing the hopes of some 24,000 already-approved immigrants. The Hill, BuzzFeed News and Politico have stories on the Justice Department's request.

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court order providing that refugees who "have a formal assurance from an agency within the United States that the agency will provide, or ensure the provision of, reception and placement services to that refugee" are not subject to the ban.

The Justice Department wants to continue that stay, but it is not seeking a stay of a separate portion of the 9th Circuit decision interpreting what constitutes a bona fide relationship.

The appeals court ruled that grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins of American citizens must also be included in the definition of close family and be accepted into the country.

Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall condemned the court's ruling on the prohibition on blocking refugees.

US President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington
US President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington

"This Court's ruling can not plausibly bear that construction, which would as a practical matter render the partial stay this Court granted as to the refugee provisions a dead letter", the administration said.

Trump administration lawyers challenged that ruling but not the president's temporary ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries. Yet the Justice Department hasn't given any indication of awareness that the court might well dismiss the case without deciding whether the ban is legal. Even those refugees with formal assurances from a resettlement agency lack the sort of connection that should exempt them from the ban, the Justice Department argued in its filing to the Supreme Court.

In June, the Supreme Court handed down a somewhat confusing decision allowing both parts of Trump's order to go into effect, but with a significant limitation.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has issued a temporary order allowing the Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees for the time being.

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