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US Supreme Court Approves Parts of Trump Travel Ban

In a move that sent shockwaves around the world, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld certain parts of the Trump administration’s controversial travel ban. It also scheduled oral arguments this fall.

The travel ban first proposed by the administration was struck down twice by lower courts earlier this year. The Trump administration, citing the rising tide of terror all over the world, sought to prevent the citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. Trump also wanted to ban all refugees for at least 120 days.

The proposed travel restrictions have also collectively been called a “Muslim ban” given Trump’s own words on the campaign trail. In response to the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California in December 2015, he called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the country until authorities could “figure out what is going on.”   

But despite being struck down twice, the travel ban has been allowed to go forward in some respects.

Specifically, the Supreme Court has allowed certain provisions of the ban to go into effect for foreign nationals that do not have any “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States.” In other words, if someone cannot prove that they have a formal relationship with the United States - having a family member in the US, being accepted to a US university, or working at a US company, for example - then they would not be allowed to enter the country.

If someone from these countries has a valid US visa, however, they would be allowed to travel to the United States.

Mixed Reactions Across the Country

The Supreme Court’s decision was largely seen as a partial victory for the Trump administration. The president called the decision “a clear victory for our national security” and said that he wants “people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.”

Not everyone agrees, though. Joseph Carens, professor of political theory at the University of Toronto, thinks that the Trump administration’s travel ban is discriminatory and will most likely backfire.

“The goal of the policy is to reduce the threat of terrorism,” says Professor Carens. “But the policy’s actual effect will be to increase the threat of terrorism because it will alienate Muslims throughout the world and will confirm the claim of ISIS that the United States is fundamentally hostile to Islam.”

The Supreme Court’s decision went into effect on July 1.