WASHINGTON – US authorities began partially implementing President Donald Trump’s ban on travellers from six Muslim-majority nations late Thursday, after the Supreme Court allowed some of his executive order to take effect.
A senior State Department official earlier said the policy would take effect at US consular offices worldwide at 8 pm in Washington (0000 GMT Friday).
On Monday, the nine-member US Supreme Court in Washington said it would hear arguments in the case as early as October, and meanwhile lifted part of the injunctions used by lower courts to block the order issued by Trump in March.
The court allowed the federal government to enforce the 90-day ban on issuing new visas for individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who have “no connection to the United States at all.”
New approvals for admissions of refugees from all countries will be halted for 120 days.
Family connections to qualify for new visas include brothers and sisters, half-siblings and step-siblings.
Parents and parents-in-law are included, but not grandparents or nieces and nephews. Daughters-in-law and sons-in-law can be accepted, but not sisters-in-law or brothers-in-law, the Times reported.
The state of Hawaii filed a challenge to the ban minutes before it came into effect, requesting that the district court in Hawaii clarify aspects of the Supreme Court ruling.
The state argued that the government had “announced it intended to violate” it, by taking a narrower view of family relationships qualifying a foreigner to exemption from the ban, according to court documents posted online by the law firm HoganLovells.
“This court should clarify as soon as possible that the Supreme Court meant what it said, and that foreign nationals that credibly claim connections with this country cannot be denied entry under the president’s illegal order,” the lawyers wrote in their filing. -DPA