The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to review the case of its revised travel ban, and to place stays on the two injunctions that had been granted against the ban, NPR reports.
Should the request for the stay be granted, the revised travel ban would go into effect immediately, according to Reuters. The court first has to decide on whether to grant the emergency applications, however, which could happen within two weeks. Then it would have to decide whether or not to hear the full appeal. The Justice Department has asked to expedite the case, which would allow the court to hear it at the start of its next term in October – meaning any decision would not take place until after the temporary, 90-day ban has elapsed.
According to The Washington Post, lawyers for the Justice Department have argued that the Fourth Circuit should not have considered President Trump’s comments during the presidential campaign in its decision, and instead should have only considered the language of the executive order. The Fourth Circuit had found that the campaign comments created “a compelling case that (the executive order’s) primary purpose is religious” in upholding an earlier freeze on the ban, a decision that many legal experts had expected to send the case to the Supreme Court.
The policy has caused some travel industry organizations, particularly the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), to warn that it could harm inbound travel to the United States. The GBTA recently forecast a $1.3 billion loss in overall travel-related expenditures in the U.S. this year due to the ban, as well as other policies like the proposed expanded laptop ban and other political factors like Brexit.
The revised executive order bans travel from six Muslim-majority countries -- Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya – dropping Iraq, which was part of the original ban. The new order also suspends the United States’ refugee program for 120 days, and lowers the cap on refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 per year.
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has said that it is waiting to see how the policy will impact U.S. travel agents. In a March press call ASTA SVP Government and Industry Affairs Eben Peck said, “I think we’re going to look at letting the dust from both bans settle a bit. Maybe a few months out we can get a read on this — is this having a real impact or are people just having an emotional reaction?”
ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby said that the organization would continue to “monitor the situation closely with an eye toward any impact on our members’ businesses, and will do everything possible to ensure member are kept up to date, able to serve their clients and prepare them for any disruptions that might occur.”
Other changes: travelers from the affected countries who are legal permanent residents of the United States, dual nationals who use a passport from another country and those who have been granted asylum or refugee status are exempt from the new order. Additionally, current visa holders will be able to get into the country, although those whose visas expire will have to reapply.