The Supreme Court has decided to hear the President Trump’s “Travel Ban” case in the fall session, which begins in October of this year. What’s interesting is that the ban will be already expired when the court tackles its merits in the fall, unless the President will sign a new Executive Order extending the ban. As a reminder, the ban affected entry to the United States nationals of six countries Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen (in alphabetical order). The ban is in effect for 90 days; however it also precludes the admission of all refugees for 120 days. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be probably ready to start enforcing travel ban around June 29, 2017.
The Court also stated that the government’s power to enforce the above mentioned ban ought to be applied narrowly. In other words, the ban is supposed to be effective against foreign nationals who do NOT have “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” An advice of an immigration attorney clarifying those terms may be probably beneficial to anyone interested in traveling to the US. The open interpretation will probably cause a lot of friction at the ports of entry to the United States. The court also stated that the individuals from those six countries may not be precluded from entry to the United States if they have a “close familial relationship” with a person already within United States or if they have a “formal and documented” relationship with an American entity. However, those relationships must be formed in an ordinary course of business and not for a purpose of evading the travel ban. One could expect some confusion in interpretation of those rules by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In difficult time like those, it may be a smart idea to have an immigration lawyer on a retainer or a speed dial.
The court also ruled that refugees processed abroad who come to United States have some connections to this country through varies refugee’s agencies or families. As such they cannot be precluded from entry to US even if the cap of 50,000 on admittance of refugees has been reached.
The foreign nationals who form their relationship with someone in the US after June 26, 2017 will be banned from entry to the US. In that group are tourists who don’t plan to visit their family members and lack any legitimate relationship with any US entity as explained above. Considering that this ruling is subject to confusion and interpretation by ICE, one may expect a new wave of litigation in immigration courts. In difficult situations an immigration attorney with experience may be your best friend.