LIMITED VERSION OF TRAVEL BAN ALLOWED Canada takes a wait and see approach

Posted on 06/27/2017 | About Уса, Russia

Until it holds a full hearing on the case in October, The US Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to go forward with a limited version of its ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries. Travellers from those countries can be barred from entering the US 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 enrolment 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.

Donald Trump framed the decision as a win claiming that controlling travel entries is a vital anti-terror tool, and a “clear victory for our national security.” He said in a statement that his “number one responsibility” is to keep the American people safe.

The administration has said the 90-day ban was needed on national security grounds to allow an internal review of screening procedures for visa applicants from the six countries. Opponents say the ban is unlawful, based on visitors' Muslim religion. The administration review should be complete before Oct. 2, the first day the justices could hear arguments in their new term.

A 120-day ban on refugees also is being allowed to take effect on a limited basis.

Three of the court's conservative justices said they would have let the complete bans take effect.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the government has shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of the case, and that it will suffer irreparable harm with any interference. Thomas said the government's interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to people denied entry into the country.

Some immigration lawyers said the limited nature of the ban and the silence of the court's liberals on the issue Monday suggested that the court had not handed Trump much of a victory. They said relatively few people would fall under the ban because people coming to study, work or visit family members in the United States already have sufficient relationships with others already is in the country.

The court's opinion explained the kinds of relationships people from the six countries must demonstrate to obtain a US visa.

“For individuals, a close familial relationship is required,” the court said. For people who want to come to the United States to work or study, “the relationship must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, not for the purpose of evading” the travel ban.

The opinion faulted the two federal appeals courts that had blocked the travel policy for going too far to limit Trump's authority over immigration. The president announced the travel ban a week after he took office in January and revised it in March after setbacks in court.

The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban was “rooted in religious animus” toward Muslims and pointed to Trump's campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

The San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel policy does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on nationality-based discrimination. That court also put a hold on separate aspects of the policy that would keep all refugees out of the United States for 120 days and cut by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000, the cap on refugees in the current government spending year that ends September 30.

Trump's first executive order on travel applied to travellers from Iraq and well as the six countries, and took effect immediately, causing chaos and panic at airports over the last weekend in January as the Homeland Security Department scrambled to figure out whom the order covered and how it was to be implemented.

A federal judge blocked it eight days later, an order that was upheld by a 9th circuit panel. Rather than pursue an appeal, the administration said it would revise the policy.

In March, Trump issued the narrower order.


In Canada

Meanwhile the Canadian government says it is waiting for more details about the US Supreme Court's partial reinstatement of Donald Trump's ban on travellers from six mainly Muslim countries.

But a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said dual nationals from the affected countries travelling on their Canadian passports would not be subject to the restrictions.

Spokesman Bernie Derible also said Canadian permanent residents from the six designated countries who have valid resident cards and valid US visas, and are deemed eligible by US border authorities to enter the US, would not be denied entry.

The federal New Democrats, meanwhile, criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for refusing to personally speak out against the ban.

The Liberal Trudeau government has largely adopted a cautious, wait-and-see approach when it comes to the policy pronouncements and Twitter outbursts of the famously unpredictable US president.