A U.S. appeals court in California on Monday has allowed part of President Donald Trump's latest travel ban to go into effect, ruling that the government can bar entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries if they have no connections to the United States.
A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals partially granted a Trump administration request to block at least temporarily a judge's ruling that had put the new ban on hold.
President Trump had announced the latest (third) travel ban order on Sept. 24 and the new order replaced two previous versions that had been impeded by federal courts.
The action means the ban will apply to people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad who do not have connections to the United States.
Those connections are defined as family relationships and "formal, documented" relationships with U.S.-based entities such as universities and resettlement agencies. Those with family relationships that would allow entry include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the United States.
The ruling does not affect people from the two other countries listed in Trump's ban, North Korea and Venezuela.
Currently the court's order is under review and the government will begin enforcing the travel proclamation consistent with the partial stay.
An appeal of the ruling will be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit on December 8.
The 9th Circuit Appeals Court will reexamine the case on December 6.
It should be noted that in order to survive, the travel ban order would need a green light from both appeals courts.
As a companion measure to his travel ban, which applies to those seeking to move to or visit the U.S., Trump last month also announced a new policy on admitting refugees as his previous 120-day refugee ban ended. It imposes tight new restrictions on refugees from 11 countries that have been deemed to warrant extra screening and it indefinitely suspends a program that reunites refugees in the U.S. with their overseas spouses and children.
Under the new policy, for 90 days applicants from those countries will be considered "case-by-case," and only refugees whose admissions are "deemed to be in the national interest" might be approved. The 11 countries are Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, the Republic of South Sudan, Syria, Yemen. The order also applies to certain stateless Palestinian males.
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