Ruling in travel ban leaves myriad questions unanswered


The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said President Trump can prohibit some immigration and agreed to hear arguments on his travel ban in October.

People with a "bona fide relationship with a person or entity" in the United States are spared from the temporary ban affecting people from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees that the justices on Monday allowed to go partially into effect.

President Donald Trump is hailing Monday's Supreme Court decision on his controversial travel ban as a "clear victory for our national security". He has also said the ban would take effect within 72 hours of court approval.

But as Justice Clarence Thomas warned in arguing that the entire ban should have taken effect immediately, even this temporary order may prove unworkable and lead to a "flood of litigation" as USA customs and border officials wrestle with whether travellers from the six countries have sufficient ties.

One court ruled that the executive order discriminated on the basis of religion - Trump had called for a Muslim ban during the campaign, and the court concluded that the travel ban implicitly incorporated that view.

Trump says in a statement that his "number one responsibility" is to keep the American people safe.

"For individuals, a close familial relationship is required". However, I'm particularly concerned that banning people from the United States due to their country of origin sends a chilling message to all worldwide students that we are not a welcoming place.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, dissented from part of the court's opinion. And so the 90-day travel ban does not apply to them.

Trump's original January 27 order was announced with no advance warning, resulting in some air travelers learning only after they landed in the USA that they wouldn't be let into the country.

Likewise, the justices said, refugees can travel to the USA if they demonstrate those connections - contrary to the part of Trump's executive order suspending the nation's refugee program.

That would appear to prevent a repeat of the original travel ban, when travellers got stuck in limbo in airports around the United States. A ruling for the baker would embolden states that have already tried to enact so-called "religious liberty" laws that would give for-profit businesses like bakers, florists and photographers an exemption based on religious beliefs.

"We believe that's the court's intent", said the official, who will watch to see how the ruling plays out in practice.

Even though, parts of the ban are allowed to continue, like Darwish, Harrison is frustrated. Eventually, two federal appeals courts upheld injunctions against the bans. To the Ninth Circuit the government argued that the circuit had engaged in, as the Supreme Court put it, "judicial second-guessing of the President's judgement on a matter of national security".

BU students, faculty, and staff, including students admitted beginning this fall, apparently will not be barred from entering the United States and seeking a new visa by the partial travel ban temporarily allowed by the Supreme Court yesterday.

The policy has caused some travel industry organizations, particularly the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), to warn that it could harm inbound travel to the United States. What will likely happen is that Trump will seek to extend the ban's time frame, make it permanent, issue a new Executive Order, or simply declare victory and let the issue rest.