Portions of President Trump’s travel ban will go into effect on Thursday, three days after the Supreme Court temporarily lifted legal blocks on the ban and agreed to review the case this fall.
The court granted an exception for people with “bona fide relationships” in the United States, and advocates and experts expressed uncertainty about how the Trump administration would implement the decision.
People With ‘Bona Fide’
Relationships in the U.S.
The Supreme Court lifted the suspensions that federal judges had put on Mr. Trump’s travel ban order in March, but only partially: People from the affected countries who have “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” will still be allowed to enter the country.
The justices said their intention was to not burden American parties who have relationships with foreigners. They offered some examples of who would be allowed, including close family members, students and workers offered employment.
But there is uncertainty over how the bona fide relationship exception will be implemented. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that they could now “largely implement the president’s executive order.” But legal experts say the court’s decision means the president’s order will apply only to a narrow group of people who don’t have qualifying relationships.
Everyone Else From Six Countries
The president’s order prohibits for 90 days the entry of travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The court’s action means that this ban will only apply to those without bona fide relationships in the United States.
Meanwhile, American officials will conduct a review into screening procedures in place to prevent threats. Travelers from countries that do not provide sufficient information for screening by the end of the review may still be barred from entering the United States.
In its opinion, the court said the administration could complete its review over the summer, so it is possible that the case could become moot by the time it is argued in the fall.
Students, Workers and Family Members Without Current Visas
Mr. Trump’s order applies to people who do not have current visas, like temporary, non-immigrant visas for students and workers. But these groups already get those visas based on relationships with family members or businesses, which the Supreme Court described as bona fide, so it is likely that they will be allowed in.