USA appeals court partly reinstates Trump's travel ban

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A judge in Maryland separately blocked it to a lesser degree, saying that Trump could bar people from six mostly Muslim nations - Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen - as long as they did not have "bona fide" relationships with people or organizations already in the U.S. Trump's ban was announced on September 24 and replaced two previous versions that had been impeded by federal courts.

Justice Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said: "We are reviewing the court's order, and the government will begin enforcing the travel proclamation consistent with the partial stay".

Close connections are defined as family relationships and "formal, documented" relationships with USA -based organizations such as universities and resettlement agencies. It overturned a ruling by a USA district court in Hawaii last month that blocked the order temporarily from going into effect. She added that the administration, which continues to appeal the lower court's ruling, believes that the ban "should be allowed to take effect in its entirety", regardless of whether someone has a tie to the US. Neither the appellate nor the lower court rulings affect travelers from North Korea and Venezuela.

The appeals court ruling mirrors language from a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling on another, prevous version of the travel order. The ruling from the 9th Circuit does not affect that schedule but rather allows the government to implement the measure at least partially, on people without any USA ties, until then.

Meanwhile, a group of refugee organisations and individuals filed a lawsuit in a Seattle court on Monday, challenging Trump's decision to suspend the entry of refugees from 11 countries for at least 90 days.

Trump has said the travel ban is needed to protect the United States from terrorism by Muslim militants. The first was blocked by the courts and the second expired before it could win court approval.

As a companion measure to his travel ban, which applies to those seeking to move to or visit the U.S., Trump last month also announced a new policy on admitting refugees as his previous 120-day refugee ban ended.

This latest version the travel ban was blocked by a judge in Honolulu in October, as well as a judge in Maryland.

An appeal in the Maryland case is being heard on December 8 by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

The 9th Circuit Appeals Court will reexamine the case on December 6.

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