On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in the lawsuits regarding President Trump’s travel ban this fall. In the meantime, they have also allowed for portions of the ban to take effect. They will allow the administration to block entry for 90 days to visitors from six Muslim majority nations and will suspend the admittance of refugees for 120 days. Travelers and refugees seeking entry that have a prior connection to someone living in or an organization (primarily schools and businesses) within the United States will be exempt from the ban. The reinstatement of the travel ban is expected to go into effect 72 hours from the Supreme Court’s decision.
I am saddened by the court’s decision to overturn an injunction that has been upheld in numerous courts across the country without first hearing arguments. While I am somewhat heartened by the provisions which will allow some slight easing of the administration’s desired restrictions, this ban will still have disastrous consequences for the thousands of vulnerable refugees fleeing violence, famine, and persecution. To reinstate this ban without first hearing arguments strikes me as fundamentally unjust. As a nation, I believe we have a moral obligation to protect and shelter the vulnerable who have been displaced from their own countries.
Our Refugee Resettlement Office is currently awaiting further guidance and instruction from the State Department regarding the Supreme Court’s partial reinstatement of President Trump’s travel ban. We currently have approximately 100 individual refugees from across the world who are in the final stages of the vetting process and awaiting visas from the government. Because these refugees have close ties to individuals within the United States, we believe there is a strong possibility they will still be admitted. However, until we receive further instructions from the State Department, we will not know with any certainty the effects the partial reinstatement will have on our resettlement office or the vulnerable people it supports. These refugees are fleeing persecution in their country of origin and we are concerned that they not be turned away at our borders based on confusion or misinterpretation of the Court’s ruling.
During this time of uncertainty, please consider supporting the Refugee Resettlement Office by volunteering, donating household items, or by offering employment opportunities for newly arrived refugees. You can find out more at: http://www.dioceserroseattle.org/getinvolved.html