President Trump's travel ban is in effect. At least, partially.
His blocked executive order was given a go-ahead from the U.S. Supreme Court and became effective at 8:00 p.m. Thursday.
It limits travel to the U.S. from six predominately Muslim nations.
Lower courts have previously blocked it as unconstitutional. President Trump says it’s necessary to keep the country safe.
People like Abdo Algahim, who it will affect right here in Northeast Ohio, are asking what does it really mean for them and for their families in the countries on the travel restriction list.
Algahim has family in Yemen, but Northeast Ohio is home for him now.
So when he sees the list of six countries with travel restrictions, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Yemen (where his relatives are), Somalia and Iran, what does he think?
“I feel like it's just another headache,” says Algahim.
The ban went into effect with what is only a temporary go-ahead from the Supreme Court.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly saying, “I am concerned we are seeing renewed interest on the part of terrorist groups to go after the aviation sector from bombing aircraft to attacking airports.”
But there is some confusion over who is allowed in. The order grants access to travelers with credible ties to family, education or business.
So allowed, are parents, spouses, children…sons and daughters-in-law and siblings.
But *not* covered are extended family including grandparents and grandchildren, aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
The government says do not expect the airport chaos seen back in January when the first ban went into effect.
“To cede out the good and the bad is going to take much more than a travel ban,” says Algahim.
Fiancés on the "not allowed" list mean Algahim's family could soon feel it most.
"For example, a cousin of mine is engaged to a girl overseas. At this point in time she cannot come, regardless of the situation, to marry my cousin," says Algahim.
The ACLU’s Director of Immigrants Rights Project, Omar Jadwat syas, “You would've thought they would have learned lesson the first time around, that they should get their ducks in a row first, make sure what they're doing is at least sensible or logical in some way before they start putting people in really difficult situations where they are being separated from their family members.”
Algahim agress, "It's perceived that we're something that we're not, which hurts the most. We worked hard to get to where we are”.
The Supreme Court will hear the full case in October and decide then if the order stays or goes.
This is different than enforcement with the first go round of the ban, the State Department says all existing visas will be honored.
UPDATE: Hawaii filed an emergency motion Thursday asking a federal judge to clarify that the administration cannot enforce the ban against fiancés or relatives not defined by the administration guidelines.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson did not immediately issue a ruling.
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