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US Supreme Court Halts Refugee Admissions Temporarily


FILE - The U.S. Supreme Court building is seen in Washington, April 4, 2017.

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily halted U.S. refugee admissions until an appeals court rules on the matter.

The nation's highest court on Wednesday upheld a request from the Trump administration to bar refugees as part of an executive order that also limited travelers from six majority-Muslim countries.

But the government win is both partial and temporary.

The justices upheld last week's district court ruling that expanded the list of relationships that can be considered “bona fide” links to the U.S. to include grandparents. Travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can continue to be admitted if they can show they have such bona fide relationships.

“Family unity won today, but clarity and security for refugees remains at risk,” the National Immigration Law Center said in a statement shortly after the Supreme Court order.

Hawaiian Judge Derrick Watson had included in his decision last week that refugees could be admitted as long as they had assurance from a resettlement agency, not just a “bona fide” family relationship; that led the U.S. State Department to give voluntary agencies that work with refugees the all-clear to resume travel arrangements. But the justices on Wednesday put that provision on hold until the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco can review it.

The Supreme Court also announced Wednesday that it will hear the two travel ban-related cases on October 10.