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What you need to know about Trump's travel ban

27 June 2017

Equally unclear is how many foreigners will be affected from the six countries: Syria, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, Libya and Somalia.

The Supreme Court's decision said that in adding this distinction - relationships and ties - the government should be able to administer the Executive Order more easily.

People leave the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017, as justices issued their final rulings for the term.

Omar Jadwat is the director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project and argued against Trump's travel ban before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said President Trump can prohibit some immigration and agreed to hear arguments on his travel ban in October.

But much remains murky: What exactly is a bona fide relationship?

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The administration has said the 90-day ban was needed on national security grounds to allow an internal review of screening procedures for visa applicants from the six countries. Will the travel ban even still be an issue by the time the justices hear arguments?

Two U.S. appeals courts had upheld lower court decisions halting the ban to allow legal challenges on the basis of religious discrimination.

It was a legal win for the administration — to an extent.

The State Department said it will begin enforcing the ban in 72 hours "in an orderly fashion, consistent with the Supreme Court's unanimous order".

But the other six kept blocking it as it applies to those traveling to the USA on employment, student or family immigrant visas as well as other cases where the traveler can show a "bona fide" connection to the U.S. He said in a statement that his "number one responsibility" is to keep the American people safe. The justices narrowed the scope of lower court rulings that had completely blocked key parts of a March 6 executive order. The partial stay means that foreigners with no US ties could be prohibited from entering the country, but those with ties such as through business or personal relationships would remain unaffected, The New York Times reported.

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What's not bona fide? That means, for example, that a nonprofit group that advocates for immigration issues may not put foreign nationals on their client lists and then claim they are injured by being excluded.

Still, Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch found that guidance confusing and unworkable. For now, the administration can bar travelers from six majority-Muslim countries if they can't show a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship" with someone or some entity in the country.

"President Trump's Muslim ban violates the fundamental constitutional principle that government can not favor or disfavor any one religion", Omar Jadwat, director of the group's immigrants' rights project, said.

The order was, however, blocked by federal judges before going into effect on March 16 as planned.

The officials say the Yemenis were allowed to board EgyptAir flight 985 to John F. Kennedy airport early on Tuesday because Cairo airport authorities had yet to receive official instructions from the United States on how to implement the ban. That is not the case for travelers with no ties to the USA, the court said.

Groups that challenged the ban, including the American Civil Liberties Union, said that most people from the affected countries seeking entry to the United States would have the required connections. This is due to their potential inability to prove a relation to the United States that the Court's ruling calls for.

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What you need to know about Trump's travel ban