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HIAS Statement on Supreme Court Order

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SILVER SPRING, Md.—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Trump administration's motion to clarify the Court’s June 26 order. The administration’s appeal followed a July 13 ruling by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, which modified a preliminary injunction against the March 6 executive order.

The order maintains Judge Watson’s decision to expand the administration's narrow interpretation of “bona fide” family ties, which had originally excluded even grandparents and grandchildren. However, the Supreme Court stayed the portion of Judge Watson’s decision exempting from the ban those refugees with assurances from U.S.-based resettlement agencies, pending a resolution at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In response to the Supreme Court’s announcement, HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield issued the following statement:

“We are glad that the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s common sense interpretation of close family ties. We are, however, disappointed that, for the time being anyway, the relationship between a refugee and the resettlement agency that assured his or her case will not be enough for that otherwise approved refugee to enter the United States. Some refugees have no family members to join in this country, and therefore rely on an invitation from the United States government and relationships with U.S. resettlement agencies like HIAS. We are hopeful that the circuit court will affirm that refugees assured by U.S. resettlement organizations clearly meet the Supreme Court’s criterion for having a ‘bona fide’ relationship with a U.S. entity.”

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