Washington - The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.
It's not a final ruling, but justices stated in an order on Monday that the policy can take full effect even as legal challenges against it make their way through the courts.
The ban applies to travellers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Lower courts had said people from those nations with a claim of a "bona fide" relationship with someone in the United States could not be kept out of the country. Grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded.
White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley told reporters aboard Air Force One that the White House is "not surprised by today's Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the President's proclamation limiting travel from countries presenting heightened risks of terrorism."
He says the latest version of the ban is "lawful and essential to protecting our homeland" and says the administration looks forward "to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts."
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