UPDATE 2 — 6/29, 6:22 p.m. EDT: A temporary ban by the U.S. on citizens from six Middle Eastern and North African countries for a period of 90 days will take effect at 8 p.m. EDT, federal officials said Thursday.
The ban will also apply to refugees from the same six countries for 120 days. Since Oct. 1, 2016, over 49,000 refugees have been admitted to the U.S., which is close to the 50,000 limit set by the Trump administration earlier in 2017.
UPDATE — 6/29, 11:48 a.m. EDT: NPR is reporting that a senior U.S. official has said the Trump administration will allow exemptions to the executive order banning travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, including family ties and job-related business in America.
Specifically, citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia may still be granted U.S. visas if they have a mother, father, parent-in-law, spouse or offspring in the country.
Otherwise, visas for those from the listed countries may be obtained if one has either an accepted job offer or a scheduled lecture at an American college or university.
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed President Trump’s temporary travel ban on citizens from six Muslim-majority nations to go into effect by granting the administration’s emergency request to implement the executive order while its constitutionality is under review.
The ruling lifts injunctions against the travel ban by two lower courts, allowing the temporary order that stops foreigners from six countries from traveling to the U.S. for 90 days and suspends all refugees from entering the country for 120 days while security and vetting processes are reviewed.
The High Court did limit the scope of the travel ban stating it could not be applied to travelers from affected countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — or refugees who can credibly claim a close family relationship with a person or entity in the U.S.
The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted, “We’ll see him in court. #NoMuslimBanEver” vowing to continue the court fight to overturn the executive order travel ban. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the court made, “an implicit conclusion that the Government has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits,” referring to the upcoming hearing on the ban, and why the court granted the emergency request.
State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said the ban would begin 72 hours after the court ruling, or Thursday, June 29, “in an orderly fashion.” President Trump has said the travel ban is needed, “to protect the nation from terrorist activities.” The six nations under the temporary ban have been designated previously as nations with present heightened concerns about terrorism.
President Trump celebrated the ruling as vindication while others, like Ahmed al-Nasi of the Yemen Ministry of Expatriate Affairs took a different view and criticized the ruling.
“We believe it will not help in confronting terrorism and extremism, but rather will increase the feeling among the nationals of these countries that they are being targeted,” said Nasi.
Similarly, Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) tweeted: “Muslim travel ban has no merit & offensive to our nation’s core values.”
As of Wednesday, officials from the State, Justice and Homeland Security departments were still working on details of the travel ban order, the original version of which was issued by Trump in January, and exemptions for certain citizens from the six Muslim-majority countries.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding the ban in October.
[Reuters] [AP] [Washington Post]