The Supreme Court has granted the Trump administration power to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six Muslim-majority countries.
The ban, now in its third iteration, applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen and will still be upheld despite the legal opposition winding its way through the courts. Residents of Venezuela and North Korea are also included in the ban.
Related: Why International Travelers Are Shying Away From the U.S.
Lower court judges had previously said that people from those countries with a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the U.S. could not be barred from the United States. A federal appeals court rejected the notion that grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, or cousins of legal U.S. residents could be excluded under Trump’s June version of the ban.
The Supreme Court has allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce the travel ban Credit: David McNew/Getty Images
But now that the travel ban can be fully enforced, the Trump administration could choose to uphold that provision, preventing family members of U.S. residents those countries from being able to enter America.
It remains to be seen exactly how the Trump administration plans to implement the ban – and how quickly.
When the first iteration of the ban was implemented in January, there were multiple reports of travelers being stuck in foreign airports in their attempts to travel back to the U.S.
Travelers who were able to board their U.S.-bound flights were detained upon arrival at U.S. airports.
Widespread confusion among Customs and Border Protection agents led to some travelers who were legally allowed into the country to be detained, as well.
Two federal appeals courts are slated to hear arguments over the ban this week. The accelerated pace of the litigation could allow it to reach the Supreme Court in time for justices to hear it this term, by the end of June.