The ban applies to people from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees, but one clause in the court’s order has raised more questions than it answers about who will actually be allowed entry into the US.
People from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and all refugees are not allowed to enter the US unless they have “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States”, according to the court.
Naureen Shah, the director of Amnesty International USA’s Security and Human Rights Program, said that even as trained lawyer she had difficulty interpreting its meaning.
“As a bare minimum it introduces uncertainties into life-and-death decisions for people,” Shah said. “It’s so brazenly dismissive to that chaos it is going to unleash.”
For instance, if one American doctor agrees to provide medical care to a child injured in a refugee camp, does the child have a bona fide relationship with the doctor, or the hospital the doctor works at?
In addition, it is not yet clear how the departments of state and homeland security will explain the definition of a bona fide relationship to airports abroad.
Conservative supreme court Justice Clarence Thomas warned in his opinion on the case that the court’s decision “will invite a flood of litigation”.
Human rights advocates agreed. [Continue reading…]