Just in time for summer vacation the Supreme Court on Monday re-introduced uncertainty into travel plans for non-citizens from six Muslim countries who want to enter the United States. After the chaos caused by Trump’s first travel ban, we’ve had relative calm thanks to injunctions by district and appellate courts halting the original ban and its slightly watered-down replacement.
The Supremes did NOT make a final decision today on the ban, but it roiled the waters in a couple of ways. First, it agreed to take appeals from the Fourth and Ninth Circuit injunctions, and will hear the merits of the cases during the first session of its October 2017 term, including whether they’re moot.
Second, the Court struck down (for now) the injunctions for non-citizens who have no relationship to a U.S. person or entity similar to those involved in the lawsuits (a school, a company, etc.) Practical effect? The 90-day entry ban goes into effect 72 hours from the Court’s decision for foreign nationals from the six countries who can’t prove a relationship.
Hence the uncertainty and likely chaos – though on a smaller scale than from the first ban, still anxiety-making for the non-citizens who’ll need to prove the bona fides of their U.S. relation at ports of entry. Volunteer immigration lawyers, warm up your laptops!
Leaving you with the good news – the Court upheld the injunctions for plaintiffs in the two lawsuits and also for other non-citizens who have similar U.S. ties.
What can you do? Stay tuned for calls to help support or advise non-citizens about their rights. For now, consider donating to the valiant groups helping refugees and non-citizens, see this great list. Know of others? Let us know in the comments.
By Heidi Rand