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Travel Ban Upheld by Supreme Court in 5-4 decision

On June 28, 2018, in a 5-to-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump's ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. The court held that the ban had a “legitimate grounding in national security concerns” and was thus constitutional. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that the President had ample statutory authority to make national security judgments in the realm of immigration. The chief justice rejected a constitutional challenge to Mr. Trump’s third executive order on the matter, issued in September as a proclamation.

What does the ban actually do?

It indefinitely suspends the issuance of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to applicants from the Muslim-majority countries Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — plus North Korea and Venezuela. However, in certain cases, the U.S. government will grant waivers to individuals from the affected countries.

How does the process of granting exceptions work?

The United States government says it has a comprehensive system for issuing what is known as waivers to people from the affected countries who need visas. It has described the criteria for waivers in broad terms, based on whether denying entry to an applicant would cause undue hardship, whether the applicant represents a security threat and whether entry would be in the national interest. The granting of waivers, the order said, is left to the discretion of consular officers responsible for reviewing applications.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about the application of this rule, or if you are affected by this ban.

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