Refugee advocates said the new order is objectionable, noting that refugee applicants were already carefully screened and that no American has been killed in a terrorist attack by a refugee in the current era of concern over foreign-sponsored terrorism dating to the Sept. 11 attacks.
“The administration has had more than six months to review this policy” and “they’ve come back in October to reimpose what will largely be seen as another unreasonable ban that primarily affects Muslims,” said Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International. He called it “a cynical and tragic manipulation of administrative process” that “conflicts with U.S. values and interests.”
The White House said that both reviews — the one that has been completed and the new, 90-day one — both aim to secure the United States from a clear danger from terrorist groups seeking to infiltrate the country. “The review process for refugees” required by the president “has made our nation safer,” the new order said.
The president’s order came hours after the Supreme Court dismissed the last remaining appeal in a pair of cases challenging an earlier version of Mr. Trump’s travel restrictions, signed in March.
The March order was replaced in September with broader limits, so the court, in a brief, unsigned disposition, said the case was now moot. “We express no view on the merits,” the court said. But the September version has separately been blocked by federal district courts in Hawaii and Maryland and it may yet reach the Supreme Court.
The dismissal on Tuesday mostly amounted to judicial housekeeping, clearing out challenges to the March order as the justices await eventual appeals from the one issued in September. But the Supreme Court did a little more than simply remove the case from its docket. It also vacated the decision under appeal, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, meaning it cannot be used as a precedent.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, saying that she would have simply dismissed the case and allowed the appeals court decision to remain on the books.
Erasing that precedent may have implications for the new challenge to the September order. Last week, in blocking the new order, Judge Derrick K. Watson, of the Federal District Court in Honolulu, relied heavily on the Ninth Circuit’s decision.