The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle has temporarily stayed a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii that would have largely blocked the Trump administration’s ban on travel from a group of Muslim-majority countries, the Associated Press reports.
The ban allows some citizens to enter but only if they have “bona fide” connections within the US.
The appeals court generally followed the lead of a Maryland court and the US Supreme Court in allowing the Trump administration to block entry by some, but not all, residents of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen ahead of hearing arguments on the case on December 6. The Maryland case will be heard shortly thereafter.
“The president is making every effort to implement a campaign promise that’s un-American and unconstitutional,” said Mark Hetfield, president of the refugee support organization HIAS, which filed a new lawsuit challenging related restrictions on admitting refugees from 11 nations.
“The only way to stop him is through the courts,” said Hetfield.
About 80 per cent of refugees admitted from these countries over the last two years have been Muslim; the new policy gives priority to refugees from other nations.
“This prioritisation of applications from (other) countries will have the effect of significantly increasing the percentage of Christian refugees resettled here while significantly decreasing the percentage of Muslim refugees,” the lawsuit said.
“The [policy] thus implements the Trump Administration’s oft-repeated desire to ban Muslim refugees while prioritising the resettlement of Christian refugees.”