The Supreme Court on Wednesday handed down yet another order on President Donald Trump's revived travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries, which was previously blocked by two appeals courts.
In the latest turn of events for the beleaguered travel ban that was issued on March 6, 2017, the high court rejected Trump's request to block a judge's ruling that prevented the ban from being applied to grandparents of U.S. citizens.
But in a partial win for Trump, the court also put on hold part of the judge's ruling that would allow more people to enter the United States under a separate ban on refugees.
The court's order stands until the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals addresses the issue of relatives in a separate appeal.
The Supreme Court had brought back parts of the travel ban on June 26, saying that it could go into effect for "foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." It also said the 120-day ban on refugees entering the United States could go into effect on the same grounds.
The Supreme Court plans to hear arguments on the ban in its next term, which starts in October.
The executive order was proposed after the original order, issued on Jan. 27, 2017, was blocked by the courts. Trump has called the March order a "watered down, politically correct" version of the January one.
Both the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, blocked parts of the second order.
Here’s what to know about the travel ban:
Who is banned
Citizens of six nations: “I am imposing a temporary pause on the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, subject to categorical exceptions and case-by-case waivers,” the order says.
The March 6 order bars citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. With the exception of Iraq, these are the same countries included in Trump's original Jan. 27 order. In the March 6 version, Trump said the reasons for leaving Iraq out of the ban were “the close cooperative relationship between the United States and the democratically elected Iraqi government, the strong United States diplomatic presence in Iraq, the significant presence of United States forces in Iraq, and Iraq's commitment to combat ISIS justify different treatment for Iraq.”
Refugees: “The Secretary of State shall suspend travel of refugees into the United States under the USRAP, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall suspend decisions on applications for refugee status, for 120 days after the effective date of this order, subject to waivers,” the order says.
In both versions of the ban, Trump attempted to halt the U.S. refugee program for 120 days. The March 6 order, however, does not include the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, which was included in the Jan. 27 order. Both versions also capped the number of refugees admitted in 2017 at 50,000.
Not included in the ban
Here’s who the ban does not apply to, per the March 6 executive order:
— lawful permanent residents of the United States, including green card holders
— dual nationals of one of the countries included (if they are using the passport issued by the country not included in the executive order)
— individuals who have a diplomatic visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or a G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visa
— individuals who have been granted asylum
— refugees who were approved to come to the United States before the order was issued
The order also says there will be case-by-case admission of the following:
— individuals who have previously been admitted to the United States for work, study or “other long-term activity”
— individuals who need to enter the United States for business or “professional obligations”
— individuals who seek to visit or move in with a spouse, child or parent who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
— individuals who have been employed by, or on behalf of, the U.S. government
— infants, young children or individuals who need urgent medical care
— individuals traveling for international organizations under the International Organizations Immunities Act
— individuals who landed as Canadian immigrants and applied for a visa within Canada
— individuals traveling as a “United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor”
— the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security can also admit refugees on a case-by-case basis, but unlike the Jan. 27 order, the March 6 version does not specify that religious minorities should be prioritized
Trump instructed Homeland Security to “conduct a worldwide review” to determine if more information is needed from individuals seeking admission into the United States.
“The Secretary of Homeland Security may conclude that certain information is needed from particular countries even if it is not needed from every country,” the order says.
The president's order also instructs Homeland Security to provide public data on the number of immigrants in the United States who have been connected to “terrorism-related offenses,” were radicalized after entering the United States and have committed “acts of gender-based violence against women.”
The Visa Interview Waiver Program, which says repeat visitors do not need to appear in person for an interview when they need to renew their visa, was suspended, per the executive order. Individuals with a diplomatic visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or a G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visa would be excluded from this suspension.
Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System
Trump directed Homeland Security to expedite the implementation of the biometric entry-exit system, which uses photos or fingerprints to track individuals rather than just names.
Justification for the ban
The order says that each of the countries included in the ban is “a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones.”
It also says that “since 2001, hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States.” As examples, the order cites two Iraqi nationals who moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 2009 and were sentenced to prison in 2013 after it was discovered that they were attempting to send weapons and money to al-Qaida.
It also cites the Somali national who was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2014 for attempting to detonate a car bomb at an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon.
Additionally, the order says that more than 300 refugees, who have entered the United States, are “currently the subjects of counterterrorism investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” It does not explain why those 300 individuals are being investigated, but according to Reuters, the investigations are part of 1,000 counterterrorism probes involving ISIS or people inspired by ISIS.