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U.S. Supreme Court Temporarily Restores Trump’s Refugee Travel Ban

Laura Asseo

  • Lower court overruled president’s restrictions on refugees
  • High court to hear arguments Oct. 10 on president’s travel ban

A U.S. Supreme Court justice on Monday issued a short-term order restoring President Donald Trump’s ban on thousands of refugees seeking entry to the country.

The order issued by Justice Anthony Kennedy puts a lower court ruling on hold until the high court decides whether to grant the administration’s request for a longer-term order. Kennedy ordered those opposing the administration to file court papers by noon Tuesday.

A federal appeals court ruled last week that the administration must temporarily admit refugees if a resettlement agency had promised that it would provide basic services for them. That decision was set to take effect Tuesday, and as many as 24,000 refugees have received such assurances, the administration said in papers filed with the high court.

The ruling on refugees “will disrupt the status quo and frustrate orderly implementation of the order’s refugee provisions that this court made clear months ago could take effect,” acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall wrote.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Oct. 10 on President Donald Trump’s overall travel order, which imposed a 90-day ban on people entering the U.S. from six mostly Muslim countries and a 120-day ban on refugees, to give officials time to assess vetting procedures.

The high court on June 26 cleared part of the ban to take effect in the meantime, while saying the U.S. had to admit at least some people with close relatives in the U.S. A series of court decisions since then have said that order must include people with grandparents and cousins in this country.

The administration said Monday that while it disagreed with that part of last week’s ruling by a San Francisco-based appeals court, for now it was contesting only the portion of the order related to refugees.

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By Stephen Dinan

Refugee fraud is “easy to commit” and much tougher to detect, Homeland Security officials acknowledged in an internal memo made public by members of Congress Thursday that challenges the department’s own assurances as it seeks to increase the number of refugees from dangerous countries.

The U.S. has relaxed requirements for refugees to prove they are who they say they are, and at times may rely solely on testimony. That makes it easier for bogus applicants to conspire to get approved, according to the department memo, which was obtained by the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

“Refugee fraud is easy to commit, yet not easy to investigate,” the undated memo says.

The memo said there are clear instances where “bad actors … have exploited this program,” gaining a foothold in the U.S. through bogus refugee claims.

The revelation comes just a week after the administration said it was boosting the number of refugees it wants to accept next year to 110,000, up from 85,000 this year. Officials also said they’ll take more Syrians than the 12,000 they’ve accepted so far this year — and they are on pace to resettle as many as 30,000 in 2017.

Continue reading, Washington Times.

Syrian refugees

President Barack Obama plans to admit 110,000 refugees from around the world to the United States over the next year — a figure that is 10,000 above his original goal and which immediately set off howls of protest from some Republicans.

The 110,000 figure is expected to include a substantial number of Syrian refugees, whose admission to the U.S. has sparked debate in the presidential race. Republican nominee Donald Trump wants to bar Syrian refugees completely, alleging that terrorists could be hiding among them.

At the same time, the 110,000 figure, which covers the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, is likely to disappoint many supporters of the refugee program, who have been urging the administration to take in as many as 200,000 displaced people from around the world.

A senior Obama administration official confirmed late Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry had briefed Congress earlier in the day about the administration’s new plan. He noted that Kerry had said several months ago that the U.S. wanted to admit at least 100,000 refugees worldwide but that it would take more if it could.

The decision to go with 110,000 “is consistent with our belief that all countries should do more to help the world’s most vulnerable people,” the official said.

In an 82-page report to Congress obtained by POLITICO, the Obama administration said it will try to admit a “significantly higher” number of refugees from Syria during the next fiscal year than the 10,000 goal it set for the fiscal year that ends this month. The administration exceeded the 10,000 figure a month ahead of schedule.

“While the vast majority of Syrians would prefer to return home when the conflict ends, it is clear that some remain extremely vulnerable in their countries of asylum and would benefit from resettlement,” states the report, which was prepared by the departments of State, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services.

Some Republican lawmakers issued statements denouncing the plan on national security and other grounds.

“We must remain compassionate toward refugees, but we also need to make sure that we use common sense,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia. “Unfortunately, President Obama unilaterally increases the number of refugees resettled in the United States each year and gives little thought as to how it will impact local communities.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama and a top adviser to Trump, called Obama’s plan “reckless and extreme.”

Continue reading, Politico.