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US: Executive Order Update

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to let President Trump’s executive order go into effect.  Reversing the actions of lower federal courts the Supreme Court will hear full arguments as to the order’s legality in October. This decision allows the Executive Order to go into effect for people with no strong ties to the United States.
The Executive Order calls for a 90-day travel ban of nationals from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria and directs heads of executive agencies to review and determine the procedures that should be required for individuals seeking admission from these countries.  Furthermore, the Order seeks to reduce the cap on the admission of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year.
In the most recent ruling On March 15, 2017 the Federal District Court of Hawaii granted a temporary restraining order with nationwide effect, preventing the enforcement of the travel restriction.  The District Court’s ruling was challenged by the government and upheld by The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on March 30, 2017.  The Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling blocking the Executive Order on the basis that it was discriminatory and failed to provide sufficient rationale as to why the entry of foreign nationals from the designated countries would be detrimental to the United States’ interests.
Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court granted parts of the Trump administration’s request to put the order into effect.  The court narrowed the scope of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling and determined that the Order will go into effect “with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”  The ruling indicates that people from the six countries and refugees who have family, educational or business ties would not be barred from entry. Those seeking visas to enter the United States with no such ties could be barred.
The Supreme Court’s opinion explained that “for individuals, a close familial relationship is required.” For people who want to come to the United States to work or study, “the relationship must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, not for the purpose of evading” the travel ban.
Our Council
Nationals of the six affected countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are advised to limit their international travel or not travel out of the country at all. While the travel ban remains suspended for U.S. workers with formal ties to the United States, those concerned potentially impacted by the Supreme Court decision should seek immediate counsel.
Oneterra Business Immigration Law continues to monitor the situation and will provide additional updates as they become available.