On Monday, the Trump administration sought the Supreme Court's help in restoring part of its travel ban, pushing for a reversal of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to protect certain refugees. Such a relationship can arise from a close family member in the United States, or from something like a job offer from an American company or an offer of admission to an American university.
What isn't settled is a lower court order protecting refugees who do not have close family members in the United States. An appeals court earlier restricted Donald Trump's effort to temporarily bar most refugees to enter the soil of United States.
The arguments hinged on a stipulation in the travel ban that refugees in the pipeline can only be accepted if they have a "bona fide relationship" with a United States individual or entity.
"The court's immediate intervention is needed once more", acting Solicitor Gen. Jeffrey Wall said in an emergency motion filed with Kennedy, who oversees the 9th Circuit.
The Trump administration said it should not, meaning such refugees would be barred.
Justice Department asks Supreme Court to...
The government said formal assurances from a refugee agency that may not have had direct, personal contacts with the refugee were not covered in that exception.
Permitting the ban to expire would let the administration save face while avoiding the risk of a damaging Supreme Court decision that could not only strike down the order but also place lasting constraints on presidential power over immigration and national security.
The appellate ruling would allow refugees to enter the United States if a resettlement agency in the US had agreed to take them in.
If implemented, Wall argued, the 9th Circuit's orders would result in "precisely the type of uncertainty and confusion that the government has worked diligently to avoid" in its implementation of the order so far.
The Supreme Court in June allowed that ban to continue while it considers arguments over whether the action is constitutional.
The high court is scheduled to hear arguments about the legality of the travel and refugee bans in October.
The 90-day travel ban affects visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.