Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban will stay for now

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he's "deeply disappointed" that the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed injunctions that had blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban from taking effect.

The court did leave one category of foreigners protected, those "with a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States", the court said in an unsigned opinion.

The administration, he explained, had a waiver program in place to allow individuals from the six countries named in the order to enter the country if they had a significant (read: "bona fide") relationship to a person or entity in the United States.

"Is the Trump administration going to try to play games in defining what these bona fide ties are?" Warning of a likely flood of legal challenges, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the dissenters: "I fear that the court's remedy will prove unworkable".

The court said Trump's order may have violated the rights of USA citizens, universities and businesses by preventing them from bringing in their relatives, students and employees from overseas.

However, visa applicants without a USA connection are subject to the ban.

Gorsky said the standard is likely to sow confusion among U.S. consular officials who have to make visa decisions and could require another court decision to determine what constitutes a connection to the United States sufficient to allow entry. "Will these be considered bona fide reasons to visit the U.S.?"

Still, immigration advocates say the ruling sends the wrong message about the character of the USA and uses national security as an excuse to violate immigration laws and diminish core American values.

It must be noted, however, that the Court has not yet ruled on the constitutionality of the travel ban; they have only agreed to hear the case and then make that decision in the fall.




The Refugee Justice League said the Supreme Court's action allows a limited version of President Trump's ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect.

Also, for the next 120 days, refugees without strong family ties to the United States will not be allowed into the country.

Since this is designed by the government as a temporary ban, the justices said they might not have to rule on it in October, hoping the administration will have found a long-term solution for the issue - which is something people on both sides of the issue can agree upon.

"As president, I can not allow people into our country who want to do us harm", he said in a written statement.

All immigration policy involves splitting the baby - admitting some who want to enter the United States while excluding many - in one form or another; the high court is likely to delimit the terms of that exercise later this year. All would be exempt from the ban under the court's decision.

Three of the court's conservative justices said they would have granted Mr Trump's request in full, including his appointee Neil Gorsuch. Trump tweeted on February 4.

The US Supreme Court Building in Washington.

Trump has been spoiling for the Supreme Court to take up the case and eager to get it out of the hands of what he sees as more liberal appellate judges. Still, it's notable that the administration, which has argued so passionately that a travel ban is urgently required on the basis of national security, never asked the court to adjudicate the ban's lawfulness on an expedited basis.

Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, called the travel ban unconstitutional, saying, "Courts have repeatedly blocked this indefensible and discriminatory ban".

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