A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson says information about the implementation of President Trump’s travel ban will be coming Thursday — the same day the ban could go into effect.
On Monday just before 10:30 a.m., the Supreme Court partially lifted federal courts’ injunctions of the travel and refugee bans that were contained in the president’s revised March 6 executive order. The court’s order allows enforcement of the ban against those with no connections to the US, but keeps the injunctions in place as to those “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
Under a June 14 memorandum signed by Trump, the bans can go into effect 72 hours after courts allow them to be enforced. That timeline would mean the bans could begin a little before 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 29.
The federal government, however, has yet to say when the bans will go into effect. The government also hasn’t specified how agencies will define and enforce “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship.”
“We continue to work with the Departments of State and Justice on the way-forward for implementation of the Executive Order based on the Supreme Court’s ruling,” Homeland Security spokesperson Joanne Talbot told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday. “We’ll release additional information tomorrow.”
The immediate implementation of the original January travel ban executive order led to significant confusion at airports across the country, with that confusion serving as the backdrop to the many lawsuits that began appearing in courts beginning that weekend.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in both challenges to the bans that are before the Supreme Court told BuzzFeed News that they have received no information from the federal government about implementation plans.
The Justice Department, meanwhile, referred questions to the Homeland Security and State departments.
The State Department provided no on-the-record response on Wednesday, but a spokesperson earlier said the Justice Department would be making one of the most significant decisions before the bans are implemented.
In a briefing on Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters the department “will be looking to the Department of Justice to get more clarification on what a bona fide relationship will be.”
Saying that she anticipated there would be “some degree of explanation,” Nauert explained that State was working with Justice and Homeland Security to establish “what that terminology will look like.”
Referring to the Justice Department, Nauert said, “They’ll make that designation and determination, and then we’ll follow through with it.” She added that “everybody wants to get this right,” so “they’ll probably take their time – as much time as they have – to make sure they get it right so that we can get that information and then get that out to our folks overseas.”
There was not, though, much clarity at all in the Tuesday briefing because, as Nauert acknowledged, “[T]his is all still in flux and the lawyers are going through it.”
Under the revised travel ban, the six countries subject to the 90-day ban are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
As to the refugee program — which will be halted for 120 days for those without credible claims of ties to the US — Nauert did provide guidance that it would not go into effect for those refugees scheduled to travel to the US through July 6.
“[W]e have advised our refugee resettlement partners overseas that they should currently proceed with the resettlement of refugees who are scheduled to travel to the United States through July the 6th,” she said. “Beyond July the 6th, we are not totally certain how that will work because, again, this is in flux, this is in progress.”
Nauert also noted the country is about to reach the 50,000-refugee cap set by Trump in the order.
“We expect to reach that cap within the next week or so,” Nauert said. Although the Supreme Court ordered that the cap cannot be used to halt refugees with the “bona fide relationship” claims, the court did let the 50,000-person cap go into effect otherwise.