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SCOTUS Decision on Travel Ban Leaves Local Refugee Aid Groups Scrambling

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SACRAMENTO -- The United States Supreme Court has decided to take the travel ban executive order case on in the fall. In the meantime, the court issued a decision to partially uphold the original travel ban, affecting 6 majority-Muslim countries -- Syria, Yemen, Iran, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.

The court's decision Monday says the ban will stand for anyone seeking to enter the U.S. from any of those countries "who lack a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

The order specifically makes exemptions for foreign nationals who are current students or prospective students who've been accepted to American universities already, people who have family or business ties to American citizens or entities.

The decision also mentions refugees specifically.

"An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship," the decision reads.  "When it comes to refugees who lack such connection to the United States, the balance tips in favor of the Government's compelling need to provide for the nations security."

World Relief, one of the refugee resettlement agencies in Sacramento is scrambling right now, working with the state department and its own lawyers to figure out exactly how that language is going to affect what they do. They haven't gotten far, since it's only day one, but they anticipate they may be taking in fewer refugees.

Sacramento County has one of the largest concentrations of resettled refugees in the country, according to World Relief. In 2017 alone, between 1,800 to 2,000 refugees have been resettled in the county -- including a few hundred from the countries named in the executive order.