On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court partially changed the lower courts’ decisions on the Muslim Ban 2.0 cases. Here’s what you need to know.
The Supreme Court did three main things:
- The full case will be decided in the fall of 2017, but they have partially lifted the pause button on the Ban that lower courts put in place.
- A 90 day travel restriction is enacted on certain visa holders from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who do not have a “bona fide relationship* with a person or entity” in the U.S. starting on Thursday, June 29th.
- Starting Thursday, June 29th, a 120 day ban for refugees who do not have a “bona fide relationship* with a person or entity” in the U.S.
According to President Trump’s June 14, 2017 memo, the Ban goes back into effect “72 hours after all applicable injunctions are lifted or stayed,” which would be June 29, 2017, around 6:30 a.m. PST. ***This situation is evolving, so please check back with our organization frequently for updates.***
Who Is Now Affected by Muslim Ban 2.0?
Travel Restriction for Nationals of Six Countries
- The six countries affected by the Ban are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
- Visa holders from these countries must show a bona fide relationship with a particular person or entity in the U.S., or else they can be stopped from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
- U.S. citizens and Green card holders (also known as Lawful Permanent Residents) are not affected.
Dual nationals who enter the U.S. using a passport from a non-affected country will not be targeted.
- For example, if a dual citizen of Iran and the U.K. travels to the U.S. on his U.K. passport, s/he will not be affected by the Ban.
While a waiver process has been mentioned, at this time, there is no information about a waiver process available.
Starting June 29th, 2017, there will be a 120-day halt of the entire refugee program; refugees will not be able to come into the U.S. during that time unless they have “bona fide relationship with a particular person or entity” in the U.S.
- A bona fide relationship with a person requires a “close familial relationship” to someone in the U.S.
- U.S. entities can include schools, universities, nonprofit organizations, and employers. Others may also qualify.
What to Expect When Traveling While Muslim
The Court has partially changed the lower courts’ decisions on the travel restrictions. Visa holders are now divided into two categories: those who have a “bona fide relationship with a particular person or entity” in the U.S., and those who do not.
- If the traveler does not have a bona fide relationship, then the Ban applies to them.
- If the traveler has a “bona fide relationship,” then the Ban does not apply to them.
- A “bona fide relationship with a particular person or entity” in the U.S. includes:
- People who are coming to the U.S. to live with or visit a family member.
- People who have a formal and documented relationships with an entity, like a school or employer.
- For example, a “worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company;” a “lecturer invited to address an American audience;” and students who have been admitted to a U.S. university have a bona fide relationship.
- If traveling to or from one of the six affected countries, be sure to have documentation of your bona fide relationship readily available.
The Future of the Refugee Program
- The Court has partially changed the lower courts’ decisions on the Refugee Program restriction. Refugees are now divided into two categories: those who have a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity” in the U.S., and those who do not.
- If the refugee does not have a bona fide relationship, then the Ban applies to them and the person could be kept out of the U.S. if they meet the requirements of the Muslim Ban 2.0.
- If the refugee has a “bona fide relationship,” then the Ban does not apply to them and they should be allowed inside the country.
How to Get Legal Help as a Traveler or Refugee
Our organization offers legal help free of charge. Contact us ASAP if:
- You or someone you know is affected by the Muslim Ban and you want legal help (we highly recommend you speak with an attorney if you are traveling and are a visa holder from the 6 countries); or
- Your community would like to request a “Know Your Rights” presentation.
If you are affected by the Muslim Ban or are experiencing religious discrimination, contact Veronica Laizure, Civil Rights Director at 405-286-6009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.