IMAGE: CNS photo/Yuri Gripas, Reuters
By Rhina Guidos
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Supreme Court of the United States
said that this fall it will hear a case involving President Donald Trump’s travel
ban, which seeks to delay entry into the country by immigrants from six
majority-Muslim countries and one that suspends, for a time, the entry of all
In the meantime, the court announced June 26, that some “foreign
nationals” will be barred from entering the country, but decisions will be made
depending on the applicant’s previous relationships with a person or
institution in the U.S. Some called it a watered-down version of what the
administration is seeking.
The ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals
who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity
in the United States,” the court said, but “all other foreign
nationals are subject to the provisions of (the executive order).”
That means a person with family or a nexus with an
organization, such as a university or employer, is not affected by the ban.
The court seemed to be taking into consideration the
hardships the ban would create for an “American party,” such as a family
member, whose relatives are denied entry, or for a university or employer,
while also trying to consider the administration’s arguments it’s necessary to
do so in the interest of national security.
Denying entry to immigrants with no connection to the
country “does not burden any American party,” the court said. And
though the order is seeking to cap the number of refugees allowed into the
country at 50,000, the court said that if a person with one of the previously
mentioned connections to the U.S. is seeking refuge, “such as a person may not
be excluded ‘ even if the 50,000 has been reached or exceeded.”
The troubled executive order went into litigation almost as
soon as it was issued Jan. 27, just a week into the new president’s term. It was
revised in March, but those revisions, too, have faced legal challenges.
The U.S. Catholic bishops have opposed the ban and its
revision, particularly because of the provision that suspends entry of all
refugees for at least four months.
“We remain deeply troubled by the human consequences of
the revised executive order on refugee admissions and the travel ban,”
Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, said in March. He made the statement as
chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration.
In a statement after the court’s announcement, Trump said
the high court’s decision was a “clear victory” for national security.
“It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone
countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective,” he said.
In a partial dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas said he
worried that “the court’s remedy will prove unworkable” and “compromise will
burden executive officials with the task of deciding — on peril of contempt —
whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United
States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country.”
It also may “invite a flood of litigation until this case is
finally resolved,” he said.
The decision was announced a day before the court ends its term and goes on summer recess. The new term begins in October.
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Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Rhina.
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