The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned lower court orders that blocked U.S. President Donald Trump's administration from enforcing its 90-day ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries.
The ruling on June 26 means Trump’s executive order for the travel ban can be partially imposed.
The court left one category of foreigners protected: those with “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
In the unsigned opinion, the Supreme Court on June 26 also agreed to hear arguments in the case in October.
The Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court to hear its arguments in the case after two U.S. appeals courts upheld lower court rulings that halted the ban in order to allow legal challenges claiming the ban discriminates on the basis of religion.
The ban would apply to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who try to enter the United States.
Trump said last week that the ban would take effect 72 hours after it is cleared by the courts.
Trump insists the ban is necessary for U.S. national security, despite complaints from critics who say it singles out Muslims in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The Trump administration says it needs the ban to allow an internal review of the screening for visa applicants from the six countries. The review is expected to be completed before October 2.
In a statement issued shortly after the June 26 court ruling, Trump said the “unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory” for U.S. national security that allows him “to use an important tool for protecting our nation’s homeland.”
“It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective,” Trump said.
“As president, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm,” Trump said in the statement. “I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.”
Trump initially had issued a travel ban for seven predominantly Muslim countries and a temporary halt on all refugees entering the United States.
The order caused widespread disruption at international airports and led to protests from Muslims, rights groups, and others.
The Trump administration said it thought it addressed the legal concerns with a revised order, but federal courts still blocked the order.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Supreme Court ruling on the travel ban was an "important step" toward restoring separation of powers between branches of government in the United States.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a June 26 statement that it will implement the travel ban "professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travelers, and in coordination with partners in the travel industry."
Yemen's government said it was disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court decision and did not believe that the travel ban will help to combat terrorism.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa