SC verdict narrows scope of US travel ban on six Muslim countries


WASHINGTON, July 4 (APP): The decision by the US Supreme Court to
allow the Trump administration to enforce its travel ban on citizens
from the six Muslim-majority countries has narrowed the scope of the original order and includes exemptions for refugees and foreign
nationals trying to enter the United States.
After the court’s decision, the Trump administration enforced the
ban from the last week and, while it is far cry from the original order
and includes exemptions, legal fraternity still fear a drop in travel
to the country by foreign nationals.
President Trump issued an executive soon after taking the White House
in January that sought temporary ban travel from citizens from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia to allow the US government further strengthened vetting procedures to ensure national security. That order
also halted refugee settlement program for 120 days.
During the presidential campaign, Trump had suggested a total ban on
Muslim from travelling to the United States that was followed by a rise in Islamophobia and hate crimes against the Muslim Americans.
The move drew a fierce backlash and world leaders condemned the
policy. The enforcement also hurt many families and those even with
Green Cards, who were outside the country at the time of announcement,
were barred from entering the country.
Soon after, legal challenges began to pile up and led to the first restraining order when a federal judge in Washington put the entire ban
on hold, a week after it was placed. This was followed by a ruling by a
San Francisco-based appeals court, which refused to lift the nationwide restraining order.
The government responded with a new version of the executive order
in March in which Iraq was dropped from the list and exempted legal permanent residents, Green Card holders and those with valid US visas
to come to the US. It also removed the indefinite restriction of the admission of Syrian refugee.
But despite the key changes, two different federal judges uphold the ban, forcing the Trump administration to finally go to the Supreme Court, which accepted the government plea for the ban but added several
provisions that many say has taken the bite out of the original order to some extent.
A report by The Hill online magazine says that the new criteria added
to by the Supreme Court has further narrowed down the scope of the original executive order that was issued in January.
Under the Supreme Court decision, the ban will only apply to those
who do not have “bona fide” relationship to a person or entity in the
United States. As per clarification issued by the State department, travelers from the banned countries can come to US to visit spouses, fiances, parents, parents-in-law, children, adult sons or daughters, siblings, step- or half-siblings, or sons- and daughters-in-law.
However, cousins, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and brothers- and sisters-in-law have been excluded from the
list and cannot travel to the United States. In case of grandparents, officials say it will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to that, students accepted to US universities and
employees who have accepted the job with a company in the US also
fulfill the definition of “formal relationship” and should be able
to travel.