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Justice Department Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Refugee Ban

12 September 2017

In a routine, but potentially still quite ominous order, Justice Anthony Kennedy stayed a federal appeals court's order halting Donald Trump's effort to ban tens of thousands of refugees from the United States.

The ruling of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, issued September 7, would exempt refugees who have received assurances of support from resettlement agencies from President Trump's refugee ban.

The dispute taken to the justices Monday addresses how much of the travel ban can be enforced until the Supreme Court rules on the broader issues.

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The 90-day travel ban affects visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

What isn't settled is a lower court order protecting refugees who do not have close family members in the United States.

Had the court not temporarily lifted the exemption, it would have gone into effect at 11:30 a.m. Tusday, with The Independent estimating that up to 24,000 refugees qualify for the exemption. Wall said the administration has already been allowing in close family members, but allowing in the refugees would "upend the status quo and do far greater harm to the national interest".

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In June, the Supreme Court partially backed the travel ban but said the administration could not bar people with "a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States".

The top justices of the country will sit for a hearing to discuss if the ban was legal or not. The high court did not define what it meant by a "bona fide relationship". The refugee ban would still be active, but for less than another 20 days - ending October 27.

By that point, the original 90-day travel ban will have lapsed and the 120-day refugee ban - with certain allowances by the Trump administration for special cases - will have just a few weeks to run. The other cuts the number of refugees that will be admitted in fiscal year 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000.

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The appeals court also had ruled that grandparents and other relatives of people already living in the US can not be barred entrance under the president's travel ban. The ruling would have allowed refugees to enter the country if they obtained promises of assistance from refugee resettlement organisations.

Justice Department Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Refugee Ban