The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled to allow President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban proclamation to go into effect – at least in part.
Ruling on the injunction issued by the District Court in Hawaii that temporarily blocked the enforcement of the new ban, the Ninth Circuit determined that the travel ban could go into effect for now, except with regard to people with a “bona fide relationship” with close family or with an entity in the U.S., such as an employer or a university. This standard was borrowed from the Supreme Court’s ruling on the earlier travel bans.
Individuals from six countries — Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — may be banned from entry, unless they have a bona fide relationship with a U.S. family member or entity. The Ninth Circuit ruled that in addition to parents, spouses, and children living in the U.S., bona fide relationships could extend to grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts, uncles, and brothers- or sisters-in-law. Entity relationships must be “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course,” including universities, businesses, and other institutions.
The proclamation’s bans on North Korea and Venezuela were not included in the original suit brought before the Hawaii District Court. Accordingly, it appears that entry as immigrants or nonimmigrants remains suspended for North Korea and entry in tourist or business visitor status remains suspended for officials of certain Venezuelan government agencies and their immediate family members.
The Administration plans to implement the suspension consistent with the Ninth Circuit’s ruling and will continue to appeal the case in order to be able to fully implement the travel ban proclamation.
Meanwhile, the Administration’s latest Executive Order regarding the refugee resettlement program is being challenged. Trump issued an Order on October 24 that restarted the country’s refugee resettlement program. That Order, however, imposed new restrictions on many of the countries involved in the program and indefinitely blocked the part of the program that allowed refugees to bring their spouses and children to the U.S. A number of refugee assistance groups have joined in a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Seattle seeking to enjoin this new Order. The groups are challenging the Administration’s authority to issue the new restrictions and arguing that these restrictions discriminate against Muslim refugees.
We will continue to monitor the implementation of the travel ban proclamation. If you have questions about how the latest developments affect visa application and/or travel plans, please reach out to your Jackson Lewis attorney.