Supreme Court allows Trump travel ban enforcement, but says it must allow broader exemptions for relatives


The Supreme Court on Wednesday once again compromised on President Trump’s travel ban, saying the government may enforce tightened restrictions on refugees for now but also must allow into the country more travelers from six mostly Muslim countries who have family members already here.

The short order from the court means that the administration must continue to accept those with grandparents, aunts and uncles and other relatives in the United States. The Trump administration had set a stricter interpretation of who could be allowed in under a Supreme Court decision issued last month.

The court’s action on Wednesday had two parts. In one, it said it will not disturb a lower court’s decision that expanded the definition of close family ties.

But in another, it granted the government’s request to put on hold a part of the decision that would have made it easier for more refugees to enter the country.

The unsigned, one-paragraph order gave no reasoning for either decision. Three justices--Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch--said they would have granted the administration’s request to put the entire order on hold.

The majority said the government’s appeal of the lower court should go through normal channels, with the next stop at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.


The court’s decision was the latest action in the Trump administration’s nearly six-month effort to temporarily shut down the nation’s refu­gee program and bar visitors from several Muslin-majority countries while it examines vetting procedures.

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