Supreme Court Partially Restores Travel Ban, Removes Trump’s Excuse for Halting Work on New Rules

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Donald Trump won a partial victory today on his Muslim travel ban:

The Supreme Court handed President Trump a victory Monday by reviving part of his disputed ban on foreign travelers from six Muslim-majority nations….The justices said the travel ban may go into effect, except for “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” such as a spouse or close relative.

….”The student from the designated countries who have been admitted to the University of Hawaii have such a relationship with an American entity,” the court said. “So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address an American audience.” But this would not extend to other foreigners who lack this connection.

Despite the fact that tightening up visa requirements was supposedly a critical national security concern, Trump dropped the whole thing after his travel ban was stayed by several lower courts. He’s had plenty of time to craft new vetting rules—which were supposed to take 90-120 days from February—but he’s done nothing.

The official excuse is that the courts prevented this, which is ridiculous in the way Trump’s statements are always ridiculous. There was nothing stopping him from working on new, permanent rules. But he didn’t, presumably because personal pique was more important than the supposedly porous borders that he inherited from President Obama.

With the Supreme Court rules now in place, even this thin excuse is gone. So will he restart work on new rules so he’ll be ready to go as soon as the Supreme Court gives the OK? That’s what he’d do if he really thought this was important. Let’s wait and see.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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