- Jul 14, 2020
The Trump administration announced late Jan. 31 it will impose travel restrictions on six new countries in Africa and Asia, a decision that was roundly criticized by faith-based groups and immigration advocates.
In a 5-4 decision June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban on people entering the U.S. from some Muslim-majority countries, saying the president’s action was within his power.
An interfaith group is arguing that Trump’s March 6 executive order imposing a travel ban from six countries is “anathema” to the core tenet of religious tolerance that they share. They say the order “selectively targeted” six Muslim-majority nations cited in State Department reports on terrorism but excluded at least two Christian-majority nations — Venezuela and the Philippines — that meet the same criteria applied to the Muslim countries.
In June, the Supreme Court said in a provisional ruling that Trump’s “travel ban” can be enforced pending arguments scheduled before the court in October. The justices also said the ban should not apply to visitors who have a “bona fide relationship” with organizations or people including those with close family ties or a job offer. Since June, there has been a debate about what constitutes “close ties.”
The cap on refugees of 50,000 that the Trump administration set has been reached, though with a new order by a federal judge in place more may arrive. This low number has been challenged by Catholic and Lutheran leaders who work to resettle immigrants and refugees and are deeply troubled by the administration’s efforts to ban people.
The Supreme Court announced June 26 it would temporarily allow the Trump administration’s plan to ban refugees from six majority-Muslim countries, unless those refugees had “bona fide” relationships with parties in the United States, meaning certain family members, employees or universities. In a statement, Jesuit Refugee Service USA said the administration, with its actions, was preventing the reunification of some families.