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 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.
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
- 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.