Jacksonville’s refugee-resettlement organizations are evaluating how this week’s Supreme Court decision enacting some of President Trump’s travel ban will affect their clients.
World Relief Jacksonville officials don’t expect the ruling to affect its work, but that could change.
Supreme Court justices this week ruled a stay on President Trump’s ban on travel from six majority-Muslim countries should be lifted, with one important caveat — those who can prove they have so-called “bona fide,” or genuine connections to entities or people in the U.S. can be granted entry. This includes university students, employees of American companies and family members of American residents.
The court will hear oral arguments on the case in the fall before rendering a final decision.
World Relief Jacksonville director Jose Vega said refugee resettlement agencies have been closely watching since Trump first made the executive order and the subsequent six-month court battle.
“In January, when it first came in, we didn’t receive a lot of people from those countries already. So this is just reinstating (the ban),” he said.
World Relief does not anticipate a problem for people it’s currently resettling.
Trump’s order also slashed the cap on annual refugee arrivals from more than 100,000 to 50,000, though a State Department memo last month announced the resettlement program will be funded for 75,000 arrivals.
But this week, justices upheld the president’s cap. Vega said, even so, more people could enter if they prove a bona fide connection. He also said he’s confident organizations challenging the president’s ban, like his, will eventually be victorious.
“We trust that the final outcome of the Supreme Court’s review of the president’s travel ban will be favorable for the refugee program and many refugee families will continue to be blessed by the support and care from a loving Jacksonville community,” he said.