The limit on the number of refugees entering the U.S. this year has been reached — kind of.
“We reached the 50,000 cap on refugee admissions on July 12,” said a State Department spokesperson. The department allowed all refugees scheduled to travel to the U.S. until this date to come.
But there is a catch: refugees can still enter the U.S. if they can prove close familial relationships to people that are already in the country. This new exemption is the result of a Supreme Court ruling in late June on Trump’s travel ban executive order.
“Beginning July 13, only those individuals who have a credible claim to a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States will be eligible for admission through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,” explained the State Department.
A bona fide relationship includes a parent, child, spouse or a son/daughter. It also extends to in-law family members and siblings of any kind. Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts and uncles do not qualify.
The interagency team working to implement the court’s ruling pulled the definition of a bona fide relationship from the Immigration and Nationality Act. Some groups are going to court to expand the kinds of relations that qualify. It is unclear if their cases will be settled before the new fiscal year begins on October 1st.
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