Appeals court hands Trump another defeat on travel ban

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed President Trump another judicial defeat Thursday when it denied the administration's request to restrict travel to the United States by more foreigners from six mostly Muslim nations.
By Ian Marsh | Sep 11, 2017
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed President Trump another judicial defeat Thursday when it denied the administration's request to restrict travel to the United States by more foreigners from six mostly Muslim nations.

The three-judge panel did not address whether Trump's travel ban is legal a question that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in October, a report by the Los Angeles Times said. Rather, the court decided who falls under the ban.

After lower federal appeals courts blocked the ban, the Supreme Court ruled it could be implemented, but only if it did not bar travel by anyone with a "bona fide" connection to the U.S. The court did not define what constitutes a bona fide U.S. relationship.

Following the Supreme Court's decision, the Trump administration defined family connections as limited to parents, spouses, children, children-in-law, parents-in-law, or fiances.

When the administration's narrow definition of family connections was challenged in court, a federal judge in Hawaii ruled in July that the definition of a bona fide connection had to include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and siblngs-in-law.

"It is hard to see how a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, sibling-in-law, or cousin can be considered to have no bonafide relationship with their relative in the United States," the Ninth Circuit wrote, upholding the Hawaii court's decision.

The Trump administration also contended that a bona fide U.S. connection is not established by a refugee's relationship to a resettlement agency. But the court disagreed, saying it considered the screening processes in place and the "concrete harms" suffered by resettlement agencies if refugees are refused entry to the U.S.

"If a refugee does not arrive in the United States, or is delayed in arriving, the agency will lose the money and resources it has already expended in preparing for arrival, including securing rental housing, buying furniture, and arranging for basic necessities," the judges said.

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