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Unanswered Questions in Travel Ruling  06/27 06:01

   The Supreme Court's decision to partially reinstate President Donald Trump's 
temporary travel ban has left the effort to keep some foreigners out of the 
United States in a murky middle ground, with unanswered questions and possibly 
more litigation ahead.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court's decision to partially reinstate 
President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban has left the effort to keep some 
foreigners out of the United States in a murky middle ground, with unanswered 
questions and possibly more litigation ahead.

   The justices ruled Monday in an unsigned opinion they would hold a full 
hearing on the case in October. In the meantime, the administration can bar 
travelers from six majority-Muslim countries from the U.S. if they don't have a 
"credible claim of a bona fide relationship" with someone or some entity in the 
country.

   It's unclear what will ultimately constitute a "bona fide relationship," 
though the ruling suggested that an American job, school enrollment or a close 
relative could meet that threshold. Equally unclear is how many foreigners will 
be affected from the six countries: Syria, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, Libya and 
Somalia.

   The ruling was seen as at least a partial victory for Trump in the biggest 
court case of his presidency. Trump claims the temporary ban is needed to 
prevent terrorist attacks. Opponents reject that and argue it's a backdoor way 
to bar Muslims from entering the United States, as Trump promised in his 
campaign.

   The early indications are that the administration will use the decision to 
take a tough line on travelers from those countries. A senior U.S. official 
familiar with the situation said the Trump administration has plans in place to 
relaunch the stalled ban and tourists will be among those kept out.

   Under these plans, largely orchestrated by White House adviser Stephen 
Miller, tourists from those countries and any academics, lecturers or others 
invited to speak or make presentations in the U.S. will be barred. Those groups 
are regarded as unable to show a substantial and pre-existing tie to a person 
or institution in the United States.

   The official who described the plans was not authorized to discuss them 
publicly by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

   But some immigration lawyers and advocates said relatively few people would 
fall under the ban because these travelers tend to have sufficient 
relationships with people or institutions in the United States.

   Jamal Abdi, policy director for the National Iranian American Council, said 
most Iranians who visit the United States have relatives here or are coming to 
work or study. He said his group has no idea how the administration plans to 
judge family relationships and a hard line could mean a significant number of 
Iranians will be kept out the country for the time being.

   It could also mean more lawsuits if advocates for immigrants believe the 
administration is going beyond the Supreme Court's guidelines in barring 
visitors to the United States.

   Like the fate of would-be tourists and scholars, the immediate future for 
refugees is murky.

   In its opinion, the court partially reinstated Trump's temporary prohibition 
on refugees from any country, using criteria similar to that used in the travel 
ban.  The effect on refugees could be greater because they are less likely to 
have family, school or business relationships in the United States.

   Lavinia Limon, CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, said 
she was dismayed by the ruling, but insisted that her agency has "an existing 
relationship with incoming refugees, certified and arranged through the 
Department of State."

   "Travel plans are in process, beds have been made and staff around the 
country plan to meet new Americans at the airports today, tomorrow and in the 
coming weeks and months," Limon said.

   Trump's initial travel ban caused panic and chaos at airports around the 
world in late January as it took effect immediately after being signed. 
Refugees, legal U.S. residents and visa holders were turned back at airports or 
barred from boarding U.S.-bound planes. A federal court blocked it about a week 
later.

   There may be less confusion as the ban is partially reinstated. The 
administration has revised its travel ban to exclude legal residents and visa 
holders. Also, the government said last week the ban would go into effect 72 
hours after the Supreme Court ruling --- which would be Thursday morning in 
Washington.

   ___

   Associated Press reporters Ted Bridis and Mark Sherman contributed to this 
report.

   ___

   Follow Alicia A. Caldwell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/acaldwellap. Find 
her work at http://apne.ws/2svihLQ.


(KA)

 
 
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