International News

Trump’s 11-nation refugee ban partially blocked by US court

President Donald Trump’s 11-nation refugee ban was partially blocked by a judge who found that it violated federal rule-making requirements.
US District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who issued one of the earliest orders halting the president’s January travel ban, said in a ruling on Saturday that the Trump administration can continue to deny entry to refugees who don’t have ties to relatives or institutions in the US.
A worldwide suspension of refugee admissions was included in earlier versions of the president’s executive orders that were blocked by judges until the Supreme Court ruled in June that the restrictions could be enforced for immigrants lacking “bona fide relationships” to the US.
The refugee ban — which covers Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and North Korea —is now a separate directive from the restrictions on travellers. Robart’s ruling comes a day after a San Francisco-based appeals court concluded that the restrictions on travellers from six mostly Muslim nations amounts is illegal discrimination.
The Justice Department has argued the refugee ban is only temporary and applies to nations that fail to adequately screen people to ensure they pose no security risk to the US.
The judge said at a December 21 hearing that he couldn’t take it on faith that the government’s intention is not to make the policy indefinite, “when there just aren’t any assurances” that it won’t remain in place forever.