Link to the article
Supreme Court Refugee Ban, NY Times
Since the election of the President Donald Trump, his administration has taken two shots at curtailing the US refugee programme.
On December 27th 2017, Donald Trump signs a decree which prevents a great majority of Muslims nations from entering the US. Nonetheless, those actions have been stymied by a handful of court judges. But on Tuesday 12th, the Supreme Court – which is set to hear arguments on the legality of the ban on October 10th – temporarily allowed the Trump administration to stop some 24,000 refugees from entering the United States. Following this decision, the administration cries victory since it has long argued that permitting a wave of refugees to enter America would « disrupt the status quo and frustrate orderly implementation » of Mr Trump’s plans. If the Trump administration renews the entry ban after it expires on September 27th or signals that it will extend the refugee ban, there will be good reason for the justices to review lower-court rulings against the order.
However, Democratic leaders announced late Wednesday that they agreed with President Trump to pursue a legislative deal that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation and enact border security measures that don’t include building a physical wall. This announcement gave rise to a major backlash among Republicans. In fact, a possible alliance between Trump and the Democrats on immigration would represent a major political gamble. The American future remains enigmatic. To be continued…
Structure of the article
The Supreme Court’s temporary decision is quite surprising in the sense that it is at odds with a former appeals court ruling that went against the administration’s will to prevent people from Muslim countries to set foot on the American soil. (paragraphs 1 to 3)
While checking if the travel ban is in accordance with the law, it has temporarily come in force. However, people who have « a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States » are allowed to enter the country : this expression has been blamed because of its lack of clarity. (paragraphs 4 to 5)
The Court has specified relations had to meet some conditions : they have to be « formal, documented » and formed naturally, they should not be used as a pretext to travel to the United States and could only concern some close relatives. Consequently, refugees are affected by this measure. (paragraphs 6 to 9)
Judge Derrick K. Watson of United States District Court in Honolulu, endorsed then by a three-judge panel, has denounced those aspects of the interpretation : he considers grand-parents should be considered as relatives and refugees should be granted the right to enter the country inasmuch as their contract has been verified by the Department of Homeland Security. (paragraph 10 to 13)
The government has disagreed, claiming refugees do not have any independent link to resettlement agencies apart from the refugee-admissions process itself. In spite of this statement, Judge Derrick K. Watson has temporarily blocked the 9th Circuit decision.
A little bit of history
In 1975, Texas passed a law authorizing local school districts to deny enrollment to children not « legally admitted » to the United States. But, on June 15th 1982, by a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional. It was the Plyler v. Doe case.
A sanctuary city refers to American cities, counties or states that protect undocumented immigrants from deportation by limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities Many prohibit local officials from asking people about their immigration status. Los Angeles has shown the way since 1979 when it prohibited officers from detaining people with the objective of finding out their immigration status. Trump vowed to deport millions of undocumented immigrants from America and to block funding to areas deemed uncooperative with federal immigration authorities. Bill de Blasio, New York’s mayor, insisted they will resist any such dragnet even if New York could lose alone $10.4 billion in funding for social services and other municipal programs. A recent court ruling in Illinois deemed it unconstitutional for federal officials to ask local jails to detain suspected undocumented immigrants without a warrant. For example, NYC, LA, SF, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Baltimore, Washington and Detroit are sanctuary cities.