1. Update
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

FCNL Welcomes Federal Judge's Decision Limiting Implementation of Travel Ban

By Yasmine Taeb, July 14, 2017

US District Court Judge Derrick Watson ruled on July 13th that the administration cannot apply its travel ban to close relatives of individuals in the United States or refugees given "formal assurances" of resettlement by U.S. resettlement agencies.

Following the Trump administration's declaration that some close relatives of individuals in the U.S. could still be barred under President Trump's March 6th executive order, despite a Supreme Court ruling suggesting otherwise, Judge Watson determined that the administration's interpretation of the ruling clearly defied the Court's intention. He also determined that a U.S. refugee resettlement agency's "formal assurance" of resettlement constitutes a bona fide tie to the U.S.

In response to this decision, FCNL Lobbyist for Human Rights and Civil Liberties Yasmine Taeb made the following statement:

"We are heartened by Judge Watson's decision, which adds clarity to the Supreme Court's previous ruling and prevents the administration from circumventing it through an agenda-driven interpretation of the Court's words.

"Judge Watson arrived at the only reasonable conclusion in this case. The Supreme Court clearly did not intend to allow mothers-in-law of U.S. citizens into the country while excluding aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents; to suggest that the Court intended to create such an arbitrary rule is frankly absurd.

"We also thank Judge Watson for clarifying that a formal assurance from a refugee resettlement agency constitutes a bona fide link to the U.S. This common-sense determination gives hope to individuals and families around the world seeking safety from violence and persecution."

Yasmine Taeb

  • Legislative Director for Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Yasmine directs FCNL’s work on a number of human rights and civil liberties issues, including lobbying for increased resettlement of refugees, more transparency and oversight of the U.S. lethal drones program, calling for the closure of Guantanamo, and for the repeal of the 2001 AUMF, among other issues.