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Supreme court sides with Trump on refugee policy in travel ban case

Court allows Trump administration to maintain its restrictions on refugees entering the US, but it will not be courts final word on travel policy

The supreme court is allowing the Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees, agreeing to block a lower court ruling that would have eased the ban and allowed up to 24,000 refugees to enter the country before the end of October.

The order on Tuesday was not the courts last word on the travel policy that Donald Trump first rolled out in January. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on 10 October on the legality of the bans on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries and refugees anywhere in the world.

It is unclear, though, what will be left for the court to decide. The 90-day travel ban lapses in late September and the 120-day refugee ban will expire a month later.

The administration has yet to say whether it will seek to renew the bans, make them permanent or expand the travel ban to other countries.

Lower courts have ruled that the bans violate the constitution and federal immigration law. The high court has agreed to review those rulings. Its intervention so far has been to evaluate what parts of the policy can take effect in the meantime.

The justices said in June that the administration could not enforce the bans against people who have a bona fide relationship with people or entities in the United States. The justices declined to define the required relationships more precisely.

A panel of the San Francisco-based 9th US circuit court of appeals upheld a district judges order that would have allowed refugees to enter the United States if a resettlement agency in the US had agreed to take them in.

The administration objected, saying the relationship between refugees and resettlement agencies should not count. The high courts unsigned, one-sentence order agreed with the administration, at least for now.

The appeals court also upheld another part of the judges ruling that applies to the ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Grandparents and cousins of people already in the US cannot be excluded from the country under the travel ban, as the Trump administration had wanted. The administration did not ask the supreme court to block that part of the ruling.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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