Six of the total eight countries barred by Trump's order are Muslim majority - Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, and Somalia.
Lower courts had previously limited the scope of the ban to people without either certain family connections to the United States or formal relationships with US-based entities such as universities and resettlement agencies.
The administration has said the ban is not discriminatory and pointed out that many Muslim-majority countries are unaffected by it.
The SC order has not explained the reasons for its decision but nudged the lower courts that are hearing the arguments on the merit of the case to move faster. As a result of Monday's ruling, Trump's travel ban can take full effect while legal challenges proceed. The action suggests the high court could uphold the latest version of the ban that Trump announced in September. In short, the Trump administration has been getting more and more success with each version of the ban.
In a statement Monday evening, Jadwat, director of the Immigrant Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, said "President Trump's anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret - he has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter". The policy does not apply to lawful permanent residents of the USA or those holding a valid US visa issued prior to the proclamation's effective date.
Similarly, Judge Derrick K. Watson of the Federal District Court in Honolulu found that the September proclamation "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor", adding that it "plainly discriminates based on nationality" in violation of federal law "and the founding principles of this nation".
The Supreme Court said the ban will remain in effect regardless of what the appeals courts rule, at least until the justices ultimately decide whether to take up the issue on the merits, which they are highly likely to do. The appeals courts are also considering claims that the ban reflected unconstitutional bias against Muslims.
Oral arguments are scheduled for soon in both federal appeals court cases on whether the ban exceeds the president's broad powers on immigration.
Lawyers for Hawaii, which is challenging the ban, told the justices that there was no reason to make changes now. "We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts", Gidley said. "In place of a temporary ban on entry, the president has imposed an indefinite one, deepening and prolonging the harms a stay would inflict".
President Trump contended that the ban has been necessary to stop terrorist assaults by way of Islamic militants.
"Now that the review has been completed and identified ongoing deficiencies in the information needed to assess nationals of particular countries", he wrote, "additional restrictions are needed".
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