Travel Ban Updates 2018-04-06T09:10:48+00:00

Learn Updates on the Travel Ban and How You Can Help

** These updates only pertain to the restrictions on refugees.**

On Tuesday, October 24, 2017,the Administration issued an Executive Order that resumes the U.S. refugee admissions program for most countries, but put in place a pause on entry for certain refugees and layers on additional security measures. The latest executive order bars admission of 11 nationalities (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen) and stateless Palestinians for at least another 90-day security review period with limited exceptions. The order also puts certain families looking to reunite with spouses and children on hold indefinitely for increased reviews.

On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that refugees with assurances from U.S. resettlement agencies are not exempt from the travel ban.

On Monday, September 11, 2017, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy temporarily granted the administration’s appeal to limit the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ September 7 ruling.

On Thursday, September 7, 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling affirming that aunts, uncles, grandparents, and close family members, as well as refugees with assurances from U.S. resettlement agencies, were exempt from the travel ban.

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017, the Supreme Court denied the government’s request for clarification and kept the exemption for extended family members in place. The Supreme Court did block the part of the court order that would extend exemption to refugees who have assurance from a U.S.-based refugee resettlement agency. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will have to rule on the district court order providing clarification on who is exempt from the travel ban.

On Monday, July 17, 2017, the Supreme Court ordered the challengers to respond to the government’s motion for clarification by 12 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18.

On Friday, July 14, 2017, the federal government asked the Supreme Court justices to clarify exactly who should be allowed to enter the United States under the Executive order.

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson halted portions of the implementation of the Administration’s Executive Order regarding individuals from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees from all countries. Specifically, the judge ruled that the following categories of persons may not be excluded and that they do count as having “bona fide relationships” with U.S. persons or entities:

  • “Grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States”;
  • “Refugees who have a formal assurance from an agency with the United States that the agency will provide, or ensure the provision of, reception and placement services to that refugee; or are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program through the Lautenberg Program.”

Background: On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court released its decision on the ‘travel ban’ Executive Order (EO). In short, it consolidated the two cases about the EO that were heard in the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts and agreed to hear oral arguments on the case in October. It also issued a stay on the injunction of both cases, which means that certain parts of the Executive Order went into effect, effective 8pm Eastern on Thursday, June 29. Guidance from the Administration on the implementation of the Executive Order has shocked resettlement agencies and refugee advocates, specifically around the Administration’s restrictive interpretation of “bona fide relationship,” which bars thousands of refugees with legitimate relationships to U.S. persons and entities from entry into the United States. The Executive Order also lowers the presidential determination to 50,000 refugees and institutes a 120 day pause on refugee admissions.

Separating Families

In the implementation of the EO, the administration seeks to apply the most restrictive interpretation possible of “bona fide relationship.” Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, or other extended family do not count, even though these family members may be the only relatives who survived war, genocide, torture, or persecution. Resettlement agencies like EMM, who have had months’ or years’ long relationships with refugees overseas, don’t count either.

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Stand With Us.

This will leave tens of thousands of refugees in harm’s way. It says to the world’s most vulnerable that America is no longer a beacon of freedom. That we have closed our doors.

We need your help.

We are not willing to sit quietly while innocents are threatened. Episcopal Migration Ministries, with our colleague agencies and tens of thousands of supporters, volunteers, and friends, stand with the most vulnerable. We need you with us.

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Stand together, and stand strong.

Thousands of lives are on the line. Gather friends, your congregation, and community groups to make a stand, together.

We can, and we will, continue to welcome..

“In the name of these refugees, aid all refugees.”

Click to read EMM director The Reverend Canon E. Mark Stevenson’s response to the Administration’s decision on relationships

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