Trump administration appeals to Supreme Court on refugee ban

Posted September 12, 2017

The Justice Department is appealing a federal court's ruling against the Trump administration's temporary travel ban of refugees and residents of six majority-Muslim countries.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit had said its ruling allowing refugees with resettlement agreements would take effect Tuesday, which Wall asserted could be disruptive.

On September 8, the San Francisco court upheld a ruling against the travel ban, saying that refugees who have formal assurances of resettlement in the United States from refugees assistance agencies are not covered by the ban.

The Justice Department wants to continue that stay, but it is not seeking a stay of a separate portion of the 9th Circuit decision interpreting what constitutes a bona fide relationship.

As lower courts and the Supreme Court weighed in on the travel and refugee bans in recent months, the USA refugee program has lurched from an ambitious projection of 110,000 arrivals for the year, to just a few hundred arrivals a week.

The administration also sought to reverse the part of the ruling that protected refugees who were in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, The Hill reported.

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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the administration last Thursday, prompting the Justice Department to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Notably, the Justice Department is not asking the Supreme Court to halt that more broad definition of a "close familial relationship".

"This Court's ruling can not plausibly bear that construction, which would as a practical matter render the partial stay this Court granted as to the refugee provisions a dead letter", the administration said.

Lower courts blocked both provisions, but the Supreme Court in June allowed certain parts to stand provisionally. Nor can the exclusion of an assured refugee plausibly be thought to "burden' a resettlement agency in the relevant sense", Wall wrote in the request to the Supreme Court for a stay.

The high court on June 26 cleared part of the ban to take effect in the meantime, while saying the US had to admit at least some people with close relatives in the U.S.

The order is temporary, and will likely last until the full Court weighs the refugee ban.