Travel Ban Updates 2017-07-31T17:10:54+00:00

Learn Updates on the Travel Ban and How You Can Help

Update: 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.

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 won’t stand for it.

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, push back.

“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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