Supreme Court OKs Trump refugee pol­icy

Pelosi, top White House of­fi­cial say they’re open to bor­der com­pro­mise

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - NATION & WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — The Supreme Court is al­low­ing the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to main­tain its re­stric­tive pol­icy on refugees.

The jus­tices on Tues­day agreed to an ad­min­is­tra­tion re­quest to block a lower court rul­ing that would have eased the refugee ban and al­lowed up to 24,000 refugees to en­ter the coun­try be­fore the end of Oc­to­ber.

The or­der was not the court’s last word on the travel pol­icy that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump first rolled out in Jan­uary. The jus­tices are sched­uled to hear ar­gu­ments Oct. 10 on the le­gal­ity of the bans on trav­el­ers from six mostly Mus­lim coun­tries and refugees any­where in the world.

It’s un­clear, though, what will be left for the court to de­cide. The 90-day travel ban lapses in late Septem­ber and the 120-day refugee ban will ex­pire a month later. And the ad­min­is­tra­tion has yet to say whether it will seek to re­new the bans, make them per­ma­nent or ex­pand the travel ban to other coun­tries.

Lower courts have ruled that the bans vi­o­late the Con­sti­tu­tion and fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion law. The high court has agreed to re­view those rul­ings. Its in­ter­ven­tion so far has been to eval­u­ate what parts of the pol­icy can take ef­fect in the mean­time.

The jus­tices said in June that the ad­min­is­tra­tion could not en­force the bans against peo­ple who have a “bona fide” re­la­tion­ship with peo­ple or en­ti­ties in the United States. The jus­tices de­clined to de­fine the re­quired re­la­tion­ships more pre­cisely.

The top House Demo­crat and a se­nior White House of­fi­cial both in­di­cated Tues­day that they are open to com­pro­mise on bor­der se­cu­rity to ex­pe­dite leg­is­la­tion to help im­mi­grants brought to the U.S. il­le­gally as chil­dren.

White House leg­isla­tive di­rec­tor Marc Short said at a Chris­tian Science Mon­i­tor break­fast that de­spite Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­vo­cacy for a south­ern bor­der wall, “I don’t want us to bind our­selves into a con­struct that makes reach­ing a con­clu­sion on DACA im­pos­si­ble.”

DACA refers to the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram, cre­ated by for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, which has ex­tended tem­po­rary work per­mits and de­por­ta­tion pro­tec­tion to nearly 800,000 younger im­mi­grants brought to this coun­try il­le­gally as mi­nors.

Trump an­nounced last week that he will dis­man­tle the pro­gram in six months, and called on Congress to come up with a leg­isla­tive so­lu­tion be­fore then.

Sep­a­rately, House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats are back­ing leg­is­la­tion to help the young im­mi­grants and hope to force a vote on it later this month — a ma­neu­ver that would re­quire the sup­port of at least two dozen Repub­li­cans.

Pelosi said she is com­mit­ted to help­ing the im­mi­grants at risk and res­o­lutely op­posed to con­struc­tion of a wall, but in­di­cated open­ness to bor­der se­cu­rity mea­sures of some kind.

On Thurs­day, af­ter an un­re­lated event on in­fra­struc­ture, Trump pressed Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on whether he would ac­cept the wall as a trade for pro­tec­tions for Dream­ers.

Schumer re­fused, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the ex­change who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity to dis­close the pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion.

On Tues­day, Schumer told re­porters, “We’d cer­tainly look at bor­der se­cu­rity that makes sense.”

At the Chris­tian Science Mon­i­tor event ear­lier, Short said the pres­i­dent re­mained com­mit­ted to con­struc­tion of a bor­der wall, but not nec­es­sar­ily di­rectly linked to the Dream­ers is­sue.

Con­struc­tion of a phys­i­cal wall along the en­tire 2,000-mile south­ern bor­der is not prac­ti­cal or even pos­si­ble, ac­cord­ing to most ex­perts and law­mak­ers of both par­ties, but Trump made it a cen­tral fo­cus of his cam­paign for pres­i­dent.


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