Travel Ban Decision Raises Implementation Questions for Agencies
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to allow parts of President Trump’s travel ban to proceed, federal agencies now face the task of determining how best to go about implementing the policy.
The Supreme Court held this week that a limited version of the ban is permissible, but also significantly limited the scope of the ban compared to the two versions the Trump Administration put forth, finding that it “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” significantly weakening the administration’s attempts to implement a wholesale ban on any immigration from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The watered down version of the policy will go into effect Thursday and remain on the books until the Supreme Court fully considers the case in October, which, as the New York Times notes, sets up a legal debate that “will weigh the president’s power to set national security priorities against the need to protect individuals from discrimination based on their religious beliefs or national origin.”
With the nature of a “bona fide relationship” unclear, many organizations expressed concern and a desire for more time and clarity.
Perry Flint, spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, said, "It is absolutely imperative that airlines receive clear and concise information, as well as sufficient time, to enable them to comply with those portions of the executive order for which the injunction was stayed,"
Some human rights organizations were especially concerned about the ban’s impact on refugees, with the decision allowing the refugee program to be suspended for 120 days.
“The court’s ruling will leave refugees stranded in difficult and dangerous situations abroad. Many of these individuals may not have ‘bona fide relationships,’ but have strong reasons to look to the United States for protection.”” according to Hardy Vieux, the legal director of Human Rights First.
A statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) praised the decision, claiming it allows DHS “to largely implement the President's Executive Order and take rational and necessary steps to protect our nation from persons looking to enter and potentially do harm. The granting of a partial stay of the circuit injunctions with regard to many aliens abroad restores to the Executive Branch crucial and long-held constitutional authority to defend our national borders.”
DHS said it “will provide additional details on implementation after consultation with the Departments of Justice and State,” but promised that the “implementation of the Executive Order will be done professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travelers, and in coordination with partners in the travel industry.”
Posted in General News