US Appeals Court Allows Partial Enforcement of Trump Travel Ban

Trump’s executive order issued on September 24 indefinitely restricted travel to the US for citizens from eight countries

The Ninth Circuit on Monday partly granted an emergency motion by the Trump administration and lifted a preliminary stay on most aspects of President Donald Trump's ban on entry into the United States by travelers from eight nations - majority predominantly Muslim.

The connections are defined as family relationships and "formal, documented" relationships with US -based entities such as universities and resettlement agencies.

The ruling does not affect people from the two other countries listed in Trump's ban, North Korea and Venezuela. Instead, they adopted an approach similar to that of U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland - and to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in a case challenging the second travel ban that those with bona fide connections could enter the country. The judges said such people include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the United States.

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means the federal government can start blocking travel into the U.S.by most nationals of Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Somalia and Chad who lack family in the country.

At the time the ban was issued, the administration cited a lengthy study of immigration protocols of other nations, saying the eight identified in the third travel ban do not sufficiently screen travelers to comply with USA standards.

The 9th Circuit stay will remain in place as it considers the appeal of Watson's ruling. "The government will begin enforcing the travel proclamation consistent with the partial stay", she said.

"I'm pleased that family ties to the USA, including grandparents, will be respected", Chin added.

A federal appeals court on Monday issued an order allowing President Donald Trump's third travel ban to take effect against those who do not have a bona fide relationship to the United States. The second one expired in September after a long court fight and was replaced with another revised version.

Judges have said the president's bans either violated immigration law or were unconstitutional in discriminating against Muslims.

However, the state of Hawaii argued the government's reliance on the study and the addition of two non-Muslim nations are simply after-the-fact efforts to disguise the discriminatory animus embedded in all three versions of the ban.

The Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments from both sides of the issue on December 6.

The refugee ban is also being challenged in other cases, including one filed last week in Seattle by a Somali refugee asking a federal judge to let his wife and young children join him in the U.S. The three-judge appeals court panel is slated to hear arguments on the lower court's ruling next month. The Maryland case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents several advocacy groups, including the International Refugee Assistance Project.

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