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SCOTUS: Expanded entry permissible for relatives, not refugees

Earlier this week, we discussed how the Supreme Court of the United States was once again being called upon to address the Trump administration's controversial travel ban even though the matter had seemingly been put on the backburner until next October.

Specifically, we discussed how the recent actions of a federal judge in Honolulu resulted in the Department of Justice filing a sort of emergency motion with SCOTUS asking it to clarify its recent June 26 decision and how the nation's high court gave the state of Hawaii until Tuesday to respond.

To briefly recap, the aforementioned federal judge ruled that the State Department's guidelines keeping grandchildren, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers- and sisters-in-law from the six nations covered by the travel ban from entering the nation were "unduly restrictive."

Furthermore, he ruled that refugees working with resettlement agencies do indeed have a "bona fide" relationship with a U.S. entity and must be granted admission to the country.

In recent developments, SCOTUS has spoken on the issue and its response was perhaps less exciting than people would have imagined.

Indeed, it issued a one-page, unsigned order yesterday indicating the following:

  • It would not disturb that part of the district court's order opening the door for more close relatives to enter the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen while the overarching legal challenge to the travel ban unfolds.
  • It temporarily stayed that part of the district court's order that would have enabled an estimated 24,000 refugees working with resettlement agencies to enter the nation, indicating that the matter should proceed through the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the court with which the DOJ has already lodged an appeal of this issue.

It's worth noting that the order, which supplied no analysis, also contained a brief sentence indicating that Justices Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch would "have stayed the District Court order in its entirety."  

We'll continue monitoring the progress of the refugee issue in the 9th Circuit. Stay tuned for updates …

If you have questions or concerns regarding any immigration law matter, please consider speaking with a skilled legal professional.

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