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Travel Ban to Take Effect Tonight

A limited travel ban on refugees and travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries is set to take effect Thursday evening, the Associated Press reports.

The White House has been trying to pass a travel ban since January, but its executive orders have been suspended by federal courts. Earlier this month, the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court to get the ban reinstated; on Monday, the court agreed to allow parts of the ban to go into effect. The Department of State then sent a cable to embassies and other consular offices Wednesday night, outlining its expectations for the limited ban, the AP reports.

According to the cable, the United States won't grant new visas to visitors from Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Iran, or Yemen unless they have certain ties to the U.S., such as a job or a spot at an American school. People from the six countries may also continue to get visas if they already have close family in the U.S., which the cable defines. Parents, spouses, and adult children count, for example, but not grandparents, aunts and uncles, and fiancés.

The cable also says the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is suspended for 120 days, except for those who can demonstrate a "bona fide relationship with a person or entity" in America, an exemption that the Supreme Court required. But what constitutes a "bona fide relationship" is unclear. Refugee agencies are arguing their relationships with their clients count.

These travel changes are still open to further legal challenges, the AP and Reuters report.