• SCOTUS Uphold Portion of Trump Travel Ban

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    Women’s Refugee Commission Issues Statement 

    NEW YORK – The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) today cleared the way for a portion of the Trump administration’s travel ban to take effect. The travel ban – which targets Muslims and many predominately- Muslim countries – was put on hold by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland. Today’s ruling allows the ban to apply to, “foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” and sets the Court up to rule in October on the rest of the ban, which means that until then, those individuals with pre-existing commitments and relationships allowing them to enter the U.S. will still be able to do so.

    In response to today’s action, Michelle Brané, director of the Migrants Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) issued the following statement:

    “We are concerned about what today’s ruling means for the human rights of families and others seeking protection who may not have ties to the U.S. However, it is also important to note that the Court, overall, agreed that some questions surrounding the travel ban are important and merit careful consideration. The Court expressly prohibits the ban from being implemented in cases where the individual has a bona fide relationship to an American individual or entity. This underscores that the court is making a strong statement about the importance of family connections and pre-existing commitments by the U.S. government and that discrimination against these populations on the basis of religion and country of origin is problematic.

    “All refugees being resettled have been invited to the United States and have strong ties to individuals and/or entities, which is a standard requirement in the lengthy refugee vetting process. That being said, today’s Court action will require vigilance to ensure that the U.S. government implements the Court’s decision fairly, and does not deny entry to those with bona fide relationships and valid visas. Court after court has found that the ban does not effectively protect our national security and that it is unconstitutional to discriminate on the basis of religion.

    "It is not surprising that the Supreme Court has decided that this is a question they should weigh in on and we are hopeful that they will uphold this basic American value."