On Monday, June 26th, the US Supreme Court issued a limited stay in the case IRAP v. Trump which partially reinstated the revised Executive Order (EO) from March 6, 2017 that singled out citizens of Somalia, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen. This decision will allow the EO to go into effect except with respect to those individuals who have a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the US. The Supreme Court explained that a “bona fide relationship” includes anyone with family in the US or anyone who has a relationship with an entity, including students who have been accepted at US universities. Under this definition, all students, workers, or people engaging in scholarly activity at BU should be allowed to renew their visas or re-enter the country.
At this time, Boston University’s official advice to students is to contact their adviser at the ISSO to receive guidance regarding travel and visa renewals. The travel restrictions do not apply to green card holders (lawful permanent residents) or to dual nationals from one of the designated countries traveling on a passport from a non-designated country. The government will likely issue guidance in the coming days regarding how it will assess whether individuals have qualifying ties to the US. Nonetheless, the remaining restrictions on entry into the US and the enhanced screening mechanisms that have already gone into effect threaten the academic community’s ability to sustain critical engagement with colleagues from the affected countries.