United States top court temporarily upholds Trump's refugee ban

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The US Supreme Court kept the Trump administration's strict refugee ban in place Monday, at least temporarily dashing the hopes of some 24,000 already-approved immigrants.

The administration said Monday that while it disagreed with that part of last week's ruling by a San Francisco-based appeals court, it was contesting only the portion of the ruling related to refugees in Monday's request. The Hill, BuzzFeed News and Politico have stories on the Justice Department's request.

It also said relatives of those already in the country could not be prevented from entering the U.S.

In a one-page ruling, signed by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court announced that the exemption would be stayed pending a response from the state of Hawaii.

The Ninth Circuit's decision to affirm that order, it should be noted, was a bold move, because the Supreme Court previously stayed this order benefiting refugees, pending further review by the Ninth Circuit. Yet the Justice Department hasn't given any indication of awareness that the court might well dismiss the case without deciding whether the ban is legal.

Earlier, Trump had banned travellers from six Muslim-majority countries but after the Court's ruling, this ban was lifted and instead a ban was imposed on refugees and citizens of just six of the seven countries.

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Both provisions were blocked by lower courts but were partially revived by the Supreme Court in June.

Resettlement agencies argued that their commitment to provide services for specific refugees should count as a "bona fide" relationship.

"Unlike students who have been admitted to study at an American university, workers who have accepted jobs at an American company, and lecturers who come to speak to an American audience, refugees do not have any freestanding connection to resettlement agencies, separate and apart from the refugee-admissions process itself, by virtue of the agencies" assurance agreement with the government.

The high court is scheduled to hear arguments about the legality of the travel and refugee bans in October.

Under the terms of Trump's order, the 90-day travel ban would end before the arguments even happen - on September 27.