HIAS is headed to the Supreme Court. Back in February, we sued the federal government regarding the constitutionality of the Muslim and refugee ban. Today, the nation’s highest court announced it will hear arguments for our case this fall. Here’s what you need to know about what this means for refugees.
When we first challenged the legality of the Executive Order, we did so because, like you, we believe that banning someone from the United States—especially a refugee—on the basis of one’s faith or nationality goes against our core values as Jews and Americans.
We are a nation of welcome. Today’s decision will not change that. The constitutionality of the Executive Order will not be determined until there is a ruling from the Supreme Court this fall. However, even with today’s decision, our expectation is that refugees designated by the government that we had been expecting to resettle before today will still be able to find safety here.
To learn more about the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision for refugees and non-citizens, join HIAS for a briefing call on Thursday, June 27 at 4:30pm EST. Click here to RSVP and receive a call-in number.
No matter what, HIAS and our supporters in the American Jewish community will continue to mobilize in support of welcoming refugees. We know that in the face of the largest displacement crisis in recorded history, the United States should be doing more—not less—to help refugees find safety.
Thank you for inspiring hope during these challenging times,
P.S. Please consider making a donation now to help sustain our work protecting refugees and asylum seekers in the United States and around the world.
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Supreme Court to Hear Travel Ban Case in Fall
JUN 26, 2017
(Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it will grant the Trump Administration’s request to take up the legal challenges to the refugee and Muslim ban, including the Fourth Circuit’s decision in the HIAS and IRAP v. Trump case.
Critically, the Court has kept in place much of the lower court stay that has prevented the administration from implementing the refugee and Muslim ban Executive Order first issued in January. The bans “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” until the Supreme Court hears and rules on this case, according to today’s announcement.
That’s good news for refugees, because the majority of refugees selected by the U.S. government for resettlement have family members already in the country, and for those who don’t, their ties to the U.S. based organizations, like HIAS, who begin working to get them to safety and preparing for their new lives long before they arrive in the U.S., are a clear, strong connection.
Further, all refugees undergo extensive vetting by the U.S. government, including by the Departments of State and Homeland Security, that further establish their connection with a “U.S. entity.”
HIAS, and all our partners in this legal challenge, will be vigilant in monitoring the government’s adherence to this limited decision, to ensure the government’s interpretation and implementation of this decision complies with today’s ruling. If the government applies the refugee ban in manner that is inconsistent with the Court’s ruling, we are prepared to challenge the government in court.
“We are pleased that those with family and other ties to the United States, including refugees fleeing violence and persecution, will not be subject to the arbitrary exclusion of the Executive Order,” said HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield. “The Fourth and Ninth Circuit courts recognized that neither the Constitution nor the laws of this country permit the President to exercise such potentially harmful authority without evidence to justify preventing refugees from finding safety and freedom here. We have confidence that, in the fall, the Supreme Court will recognize the same.”
The ruling also clarified that the ongoing refugee resettlement efforts will not be subject to the 50,000 cap for this fiscal year as proposed by the Executive Order.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case in October when it takes up the substance of both the Fourth and Ninth Circuit rulings on this Executive Order.
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