Trump ‘victory’ on travel ban won’t stop most refugee arrivals

President Trump at a signing ceremony Jan. 24. He signed another executive order Jan. 27 pausing refugee resettlement for four months until 'extreme vetting' can be implemented.

President Trump signed an executive order Jan. 27 pausing visa travel for 90 days and refugee resettlement for 120 days from a handful of nations until ‘extreme vetting’ can be implemented. That order, and another watered-down version issued March 6, were struck down by courts in Hawaii and Washington state, but Trump won a partial victory Monday at the Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear the entire case in October.

The U.S. Supreme Court slapped down the lower courts’ blocking of President Trump’s travel ban Monday and ruled that the administration can go ahead with implementing the ban until the court can hear the full case in October.

But there is a caveat to Monday’s ruling as the Court threw open the door to a new set of exceptions to the travel ban.

Any foreign traveler or refugee who can show a “bona fide relationship” with a person or group in the  U.S. will be allowed into the country regardless of whether they are traveling from one of Trump’s six designated countries of danger – Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Syria.

Read the entire 16-page Supreme Court decision.

The court’s ruling talks of establishing an “equitable balance” between those American individuals or groups which have a “bonafide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country” and those who don’t. If you are one of these persons or groups with a ‘relationship’ and can prove a concrete hardship if the refugee is excluded, then the lower courts’ block of Trump’s ban continues to apply.

According to Monday’s Supreme Court ruling:

“An 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. As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security. See supra, at 9–11; Haig v. Agee, 453 U. S. 280, 307 (1981)”

The decision was unanimous. However, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch joined in a separate opinion written by Thomas, who said he agreed with the majority but would have gone further and allowed Trump’s travel ban to be implemented in full, without exceptions.

“I fear that the Court’s remedy will prove unworkable,” Justice Thomas wrote. “Today’s compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding —on peril of contempt — whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country.”

Some conservatives immediately hailed the decision. Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT! For America, tweeted:

Trump himself called it “A clear victory for our national security.”

Others weren’t as up beat.

Ann Corcoran, who has followed the refugee industry closely for the last 10 years and blogs at Refugee Resettlement Watch, said the court has “created a mess” by refusing to come down clearly on one side or the other.

Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch

Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch

She said immigrant-rights groups will argue, and indeed already are arguing, that nearly every potential refugee has a tie to the U.S. by the mere fact that a resettlement agency in the U.S. is working on their case.

“The courts have created an enormous mess,” Corcoran told WND. “They can go over the 50,000 annual cap for refugees set by President Trump if they can show some bona fide relationship with someone in the U.S. That is insane. You can bet everyone across the country who deals with refugees is hustling now to establish some kind of relationship with a refugee.

“The court is busy trying to ‘balance the equities’, which means they are basically writing law.”

Corcoran said the Supreme Court is essentially rewriting the Refugee Act of 1980.

“They’ve agree the ceiling is 50,000 but by telling the president he’s allowed to go over the ceiling if they have relatives in the U.S. or have some kind of hardship, they are essentially giving him the power to throw the ceiling out the window,” she said.

Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann

Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann, former congresswoman from Minnesota and an attorney, also blasted the decision.

“I’m with the Supreme Court dissenters – Gorsuch, Thomas and Alito – on the travel ban case released today. The ‘travel ban’ opinion, like Obamacare legislates from the bench,” Bachmann told WND. “The decision creates nonstop incentives for legal challenges from the immigration industry.”

The Court ignored established U.S. law giving the president plenary authority over immigration, she said.

“That’s inexcusable and a flagrant thumbing of the judicial nose against the rule of law,” Bachmann said. “Instead, the court empowers universities, employers, and immigrant wannabes themselves. Immigrants are empowered to put units of the U.S. government on overworked defense by insisting they have relatives or other contacts in the U.S. The government would have to prove they don’t.”

Bachmann noted the refugee program has already been scammed in the past.

Several years ago the government temporarily shut down Somali resettlements when it was discovered 80 percent of Somali refugees claimed family relationships in the U.S. where none existed. DNA tests proved the family connections were a fraud.

“The faction advancing the unending pipeline of poverty from the Third World is still alive and in business under today’s decision,” Bachmann said.

At a minimum, there will be “many months of chaos” as a result of this decision, Corcoran said. The Supreme Court has agree to hear the full case in October but it will take two to three months after that to issue a decision.

Nayla Rush, an expert on the refugee program for the Center for Immigration Studies, said much bluster about falling refugee admissions has appeared in the media in recent weeks, but the jury is still out on what direction Trump wants to take the program.

“Refugee admission numbers fell under Trump mainly because of a general confusion that resulted from the release and then the halt of the president’s two executive orders,” Rush said. “As we monitor future arrivals, let us not read too much into the drop in refugee admissions that followed President Trump’s access to power. Beyond the existing confusion, a clear refugee policy (and admission numbers) is yet to be determined.

“Instead of a clear positioning, the semi-mitigated decision of the Supreme Court today is setting the pace for further confusion.”


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