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Justice Kennedy reinstates Trump's refugee ban

12 September 2017

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to uphold President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees from entering the US, hours before it was set to be upended, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

The order is in response to the administration's request for the high court to block a lower court ruling that could allow up to 24,000 refugees to enter the United States.

Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a brief order Monday that will keep the ruling on hold for the time being, at least until the ban's challengers submit written arguments by midday Tuesday and the full court has a chance to act.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling last week blocking the administration from denying entrance to refugees who have formal assurances from resettlement agencies or are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, The Hill reports.

The Justice Department wants to continue that stay, but it is not seeking a stay of a separate portion of the 9th Circuit decision interpreting what constitutes a bona fide relationship.

The president ultimately revoked the first ban - which blocked refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States - and replaced it with a less onerous version that blocked refugees and citizens of six of the initial seven countries.

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The government had asked for a "temporary administrative stay" to give the justices time to consider the issue.

In his filing, acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall said DOJ was only asking for a stay for the lower court ruling as it applies to the refugees.

Trump administration lawyers told justices on Monday that changing the way it enforces the policy on refugees would allow "admission of refugees who have no connection to the United States independent of the refugee-admission process itself".

Resettlement agencies argued that their commitment to provide services for specific refugees should count as a "bona fide" relationship. By that point, the original 90-day travel ban will have lapsed and the 120-day refugee ban will have just a few weeks to run.

The high court on June 26 cleared part of the ban to take effect in the meantime, while saying the USA had to admit at least some people with close relatives in the U.S.

Justice Kennedy reinstates Trump's refugee ban