The US Supreme Court has ruled that Donald Trump’s ‘travel ban’ can be actively enforced, despite a number of legal cases proceeding against it.
The Court ruled 7-2 in favour of the ban, with two traditionally liberal judges dissenting. The decision was not wholly partisan, however, with two other liberal justices siding with the majority.
Beginning immediately, the United States can exercise its right to deny entry visas to citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela.
The ban does not include permanent green card holders from these nations. It also does not apply to USCIS adjudications, including the EB-5 Immigrant Investor and H-1B ‘temporary workers’ visas. Individuals deemed to have “bona-fide” links to the United States, such as family or business connections, are also unaffected.
Individuals from the affected countries are not explicitly prevented from applying for the Diversity Immigrant Visa, known colloquially as the ‘green card lottery’. However, new applicants will only receive their visas if the ban is revoked before October 2018.
The Supreme Court decision has not ruled that the ban is constitutional, an issue which is yet to be resolved. Instead, the Court has agreed with the Trump Administration, and ruled that an emergency injunction against the ban was unwarranted.
While the news is a blow to campaigners against the travel ban, a number of legal challenges are still in progress at the state level. Courts of Appeals in San Francisco and Richmond will be holding arguments this week.
The Supreme Court has stated that these cases could be resolved as early as June 2018. The Supreme Court can then make a final decision if necessary, based on the weight of evidence and testimony they compile.
The Trump Administration has argued that the ban is a legitimate response to national security concerns. Critics however have suggested that the ban unfairly discriminates against individuals from Muslim majority countries.
We’ll endeavour to keep you up-to-date with the latest news on US immigration and visa laws. For more information on moving to, working in or starting a business in America, don’t hesitate to contact us.