The US Supreme Court allows President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban by narrowing the scope of lower court rulings that blocked his ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries. The court has agreed to hear Trump's appeals as well.

The ban drew criticism that it singles out Muslims in violation of the US constitution.
The ban drew criticism that it singles out Muslims in violation of the US constitution.

The US Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to President Donald Trump by narrowing the scope of lower court rulings that blocked his travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries, agreeing to hear his appeals in the cases.

The court said it would hear arguments on the legality of one of Trump's signature policies in his first months as president in the court's next term, which starts in October.

The court said that the ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen could be enforced as long as they lack a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

TRT World's Azadeh Ansari has more from Washington DC.

The justices granted parts of his administration's emergency request to put the March 6 executive order into effect immediately while the legal battle continues.

The court also said it would partly allow a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the US to go into effect, despite criticism that it singles out Muslims in violation of the US constitution.

Three justices support complete ban

Trump said last week that the ban would take effect 72 hours after being cleared by courts.

Three of the court's conservative justices said that they would have let the complete bans take effect.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said that the government has shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of the case, and that it would suffer irreparable harm if there was any interference.

Thomas said the government's interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to people denied entry into the country.

Ban "rooted in religious animus"

Two federal appeals courts had blocked the travel policy.

The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban was "rooted in religious animus" toward Muslims and pointed to Trump's campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

The San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel policy does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on nationality-based discrimination.

That court also put a hold on separate aspects of the policy that would keep all refugees out of the US for 120 days and cut by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000, the cap on refugees in the current government spending year that ends on September 30.

A federal judge halted late on Monday the deportation of all Iraqi nationals detained during immigration sweeps across the United States this month until at least July 10, expanding a stay he imposed last week.

The stay had initially only protected 114 detainees from the Detroit area.

Judge halts deportation of Iraqis nationwide

A federal judge halted late on Monday the deportation of all Iraqi nationals detained during immigration sweeps across the United States this month until at least July 10, expanding a stay he imposed last week.

The stay had initially only protected 114 detainees from the Detroit area.

US District Judge Mark Goldsmith sided with lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who filed an amended complaint on Saturday seeking to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from deporting Iraqis from anywhere in the United States.

The ACLU argued those being deported could face persecution, torture, or death because many were Chaldean Catholics, Sunni Muslims, or Iraqi Kurds and that the groups were recognised as targets of ill-treatment in Iraq.

There are 1,444 Iraqi nationals who have final deportation orders against them, although only 199 of them were detained as part of a nationwide sweep by immigration authorities, federal prosecutors said.

Those detained had convictions for serious crimes, including rape and kidnapping, ICE said.

Goldsmith also said his stays were designed to give detainees time to find legal representation to appeal against their deportation orders, and to give him time to weigh the question of his jurisdiction.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies