On Monday, December 4, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the preliminary injunction orders on the Trump Administration’s third travel ban issued by the lower federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland. The partial injunction order issued by the federal court in Maryland on October 17, 2017, and the recent November 13, 2017 order by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the injunction by the lower federal court in Hawaii, permitted partial enforcement of the travel ban on nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, exempting nationals who have a credible claim of a close familial relationship, including grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of U.S. citizens or legal residents, or a relationship to a U.S. entity such as an employer or school.
Seven of the nine Supreme Court justices granted the Trump Administration’s application for a stay on all preliminary injunctions on the travel ban pending resolution and hearing of the legal challenges that remain ongoing before the Fourth Circuit and the Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals. The order allows full enforcement of the indefinite travel restrictions on nationals from the six designated countries regardless of whether the nationals have connections to certain family members or an entity in the United States. This will be the first time that the Trump Administration’s travel ban has been allowed to be enforced in its entirety as the last order by the U.S. Supreme Court on the second iteration of the travel ban created an exception for nationals from the affected countries with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States.
Enforcement of the Trump Administration’s travel ban will likely take full effect as early as today. Oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit and the Fourth Circuit are scheduled to take place this week on December 6, 2017 and December 8, 2017, respectively. If the lawsuits at the Circuit Courts reach the U.S. Supreme Court, it is expected that the travel ban will remain in place until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the merits of the legal challenges to the travel ban, which could take several months.
We will keep you updated on the enforcement of the travel ban as developments occur. Individuals who are from the six designated countries who have plans to travel outside the United States for the upcoming holidays are strongly advised to contact our office.