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Supreme Court Allows Restrictive Refugee Policy, At Least for Now

us-1978465_640-300x200The Supreme Court has ruled to allow the Trump administration’s restrictive refugee policies, including a travel ban that will prevent up to 24,000 refugees from entering the country before the end of October 2017. A lower court ruling had previously prevented the ban from taking effect, arguing it had violated the Constitution and federal immigration laws.

This won’t be the last time the administration’s immigration agenda hits news headlines, however. On October 10, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the legality of another travel ban, this time against six predominantly Muslim countries and refugees from other parts of the world.

However, it’s unclear what the high court will decide by that time; the 90-day travel ban lapses at the end of September, while the 120-day refugee ban lapses in late October. The Trump Administration has yet to announce whether they plan to renew the bans, expand them, or make them permanent.

Which Family Members Can Legally Enter The United States?

In June, the Supreme Court ruled the administration could not enforce the ban against people who have a “bona fide relationship” with people or entities in the United States. “Bona fide” includes a job and/or student-status at an American university, but determining which family members should be allowed has been a conflicting subject.

The Trump administration only wanted to allow parents, in-laws, spouses, fiancées, and children of those already in the United States to be allowed to enter the country’s borders. According to the Supreme Court ruling, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins of people already in the United States cannot be barred from the country, stating the administration has no persuasive reasoning for the original distinction.

Exemptions for Certain Refugees

Earlier this year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge’s order that would allow refugees to enter the United States if a U.S. resettlement agency agreed to take them in. Most resettlement agencies are affiliated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is why the 9th Circuit argued that refugees should be allowed into the country if a resettlement agency has already agreed to work with them.

The Trump administration strongly objected to this, but the Supreme Court ruled that refugees be allowed into the country provided they have been vetted by relevant agencies.

For now, refugees will have to wait for the Supreme Court to review parts of the policy that lower courts have objected to. If you are concerned about the future of the travel ban and how it may affect your family, don’t hesitate to contact the Lyttle Law Firm for assistance. Call our offices today to schedule a consultation with immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle.