WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) – The Trump administration’s travel ban temporarily barring some citizens of six majority-Muslim countries from coming to the United States in now in place.
The ban is entering into force because of a Supreme Court opinion this week.
The new rules stop people from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iran and Libya from getting a visa to the United States unless they have a “bona fide” relationship with a close relative, school or business in the U.S.
The order doesn’t block anyone with a valid visa from entering the country. Refugees vetted and approved to move to the U.S. through July 6 are also being allowed in.
Hawaii has filed a court challenge to the Trump administration’s limitations on the family relationships people from six mostly Muslim countries need to claim to avoid a travel ban.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday exempted people from the ban if they can prove a “bone fide” relationship with a U.S. citizen or entity. The Trump administration had said the exemption would apply to citizens of Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the U.S.
Hawaii filed an emergency motion Thursday asking a federal judge to clarify that the administration cannot enforce the ban against fiancés or relatives not defined by the administration guidelines.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson did not immediately issue a ruling.
The U.N. refugee agency says it hopes for a “generous approach” from the United States as the Trump administration adjusts U.S. refugee resettlement policies.
Spokesman William Spindler of UNHCR noted the U.S. “tradition of generosity toward those fleeing war and persecution” after the administration set new criteria for visa applicants from six mostly Muslim nations and all refugees.
International aid agencies like UNHCR have been seeking new details about the changes after the U.S. Supreme Court partially restored a travel ban sought by the administration.
Spindler said the U.S., like any country, can screen applicants for resettlement and set criteria for entry like language skills or family ties. He said resettlement is reserved for the most vulnerable people, like at-risk women and girls, people with acute medical conditions or torture victims.
Spindler said the United States, even if it takes in 50,000 refugees this year, would remain the world leader in resettlement. Turkey has taken in the most refugees overall, at more than 3 million people — many from neighboring Syria.