Supreme Court allows Trump admin to block refugees with formal assurances

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a lower court decision that would have allowed refugees with formal assurances from resettlement organizations to enter the United States. The decision solidified Justice Anthony Kennedy’s temporary order from Monday.

The Ninth Circuit Court upheld a previous ruling on Thursday that would have stopped Trump’s travel ban from affecting those with formal assurances, as well as solidifying the expanded definition of “bona fide relationship” to someone living in the U.S. to include grandparents and other extended relatives that were originally excluded from the definition. The Justice Department this week asked for an emergency ruling on the Ninth Circuit’s decision, but only as it applied to refugees with formal assurances.

The Supreme Court issued a one sentence-long statement:

The application for stay of mandate presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is granted, and the issuance of the mandate of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in case No. 17-16426 is stayed with respect to refugees covered by a formal assurance, pending further order of this Court.

The decision affects 24,000 refugees, who the Supreme Court agreed did not qualify for the definition of a “bona fide relationship” simply by receiving a formal assurance from a resettlement agency.

“Unlike students who have been admitted to study at an American university, workers who have accepted jobs at an American company, and lecturers who come to speak to an American audience, refugees do not have any free-standing connection to resettlement agencies, separate and apart from the refugee-admissions process itself, by virtue of the agencies’ assurance agreement with the government,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall argued.

SCOTUS will take up the travel ban beginning October 10, where they will begin hearings to determine whether the order as a whole is constitutional.

[h/t Washington Post | Photo: Getty]