Supreme court upholds travel restrictions

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the latest version of the Trump Administration’s long-discussed travel restrictions. The seven-two ruling means the executive order will go into effect after numerous legal challenges have delayed its implementation over the past several months. Successive court rulings forced the administration to re-draft the order, but this third version has gained the courts approval. The order will allow the United States to deny entry to visitors from eight countries in the middle-east, Africa, Asia and South America. Namely, to citizens of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.

It should be emphasized that this version of the order is quite different from what was originally proposed. Firstly, there will be no end date, whereas the initial version was limited to 90 days. Secondly, it does not cover those with legitimate entry documents such as green cards. The rules are also different for each country. For instance, the restrictions on Venezuala are mostly around government officials and their immediate family. Discretion is also granted to U.S. officials to grant waivers on a case by case basis.

Although the decision lifts the legal injunctions previously placed on the order by lower courts, states can still lodge legal challenges to the policy that could potentially delay it further. Cases arguing that the order is unlawful are also pending in the Virginia and California Federal appeals court. Rejection of the order by those lower jurisdictions would mean the matter would come before the Supreme court once again. The order is expected to into full effect in January.