The US Department of State [official website] on Wednesday issued guidelines for the modified travel ban allowed [JURIST report] by the US Supreme Court [official website] earlier this week. The order permits denying visas to travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries unless the visitor has a “bona fide relationship” with a business or close family member but the court did not define what constitutes as such. According to the State Department, business and professional relationships must be formal and documented. Those who have legitimate offers for employment and education are exempt providing the invitations are not for the purposes of evading the ban. The Trump administration has interpreted [NPR report] “close family ties” as parents, including a parent-in-laws; adolescent and adult children; son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws; spouses; and siblings, including half and step siblings. Not included are grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, fiancees and other extended family. Those who have already been granted visas will be permitted to enter the US. The new rules will go into effect June 29 at 8:00 PM and will remain in place until the Supreme Court hears arguments for the cases against Trump’s travel ban.
Cases concerning issues of immigration from predominantly Muslim countries continue to be processed in the Federal Judiciary. Last week the US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website] denied in part [JURIST report] and granted in part a motion to dismiss a class action suit filed against President Donald Trump [official profile] and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) [official website]. On Thursday the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] temporarily blocked [JURIST report] the deportation of more than 100 Iraq nationals, arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] agents, for approximately two weeks, during which time the court will decide whether it has jurisdiction in the matter. Earlier this month the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled against [JURIST report; case materials] the majority of Trump’s revised executive order limiting travel from six Muslim-majority countries. That ruling affirmed [JURIST report] the majority of a district court injunction in March that blocked the order from being enforced. In May a federal district court in Washington granted a temporary restraining order [JURIST report] to allow legal aid groups to continue to provide certain kinds of assistance to undocumented immigrants. Five days prior a Michigan federal district court ordered [JURIST report] the Trump administration to disclose the draft of the so-called “Muslim ban” executive order