Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Iran official says U.S. travel ban violates nuke deal

Iran official says U.S. travel ban violates nuke deal

On Tuesday, six justices of the USA supreme court reached a compromise on Donald Trump's travel ban, making fine distinctions about who he can and cannot ban from the US. People from Libya, Iran, Syria, Sudan and Yemen would be barred from entering the USA unless they meet the formal relationship exception. In the meantime, the justices reinstated the Trump travel ban, but made exceptions for people with close family relationships in the U.S., students attending colleges here, workers and lecturers offered jobs in the U.S. But for travelers or refugees without ties in the U.S., the Trump administration ban is now in effect. Opponents say the ban is unlawful, based on visitors' Muslim religion.

Trump's new March 6 order banned people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days and barred all refugees for 120 days, but on May 25, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals voted to sustain a March 16 decision by a Maryland federal district judge to stay its enforcement.

The court asked both sides to address the issue of timing, along with questions about whether the ban is aimed at Muslims, the impact of Trump's provocative campaign statements and federal courts' authority to restrain the president in the area of immigration.

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

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the government has shown it is likely to win the legal case in the end.

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"American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded".

The move is a partial victory for the Trump administration, and marks the first time the high court has weighed in on the issue. The plans were described by a senior official who was familiar with them, speaking on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss them publicly by name. Examples provided of the sort of relationship that qualifies include: (a) the foreign national has a close familial relationship and wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, (b) the foreign national is a student who has been admitted to a USA school, (c) the foreign national accepted an offer of employment from an American company, and (d) the foreign national is a lecturer invited to address an American audience.

Iranians apply for USA visas in neighboring countries because Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic relations since the 1979 revolution.

To the Ninth Circuit the government argued that the circuit had engaged in, as the Supreme Court put it, "judicial second-guessing of the President's judgement on a matter of national security". If you are from one of the affected countries, an individual border official will decide whether you have a sufficiently "credible" or "bona fide" relationship to someone or something in the United States, such that you avoid application of the entry ban.

On Thursday, two portions of President Trump's travel plan will go into effect. "Today's ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation's homeland", Trump said in his statement. Trump has called the March order a "water down, politically correct" version of the January one.

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