President Trump's travel ban was partially — and hopefully temporarily — reinstated by the Supreme Court last week as much of the country reeled from yet another series of horrifying, but unrelated tweets from the president. John Oliver addressed Trump's travel ban on Last Week Tonight and outlined exactly what the SCOTUS decision means for those traveling from the seven countries affected by the ban.
They're set to hear arguments this October after a judge issued a stay on the travel ban almost immediately following Trump's executive order. But until then, the Supreme Court has reinstated some key, and devastating elements of it. The White House Administration continues to insist that the ban isn't truly a ban, in spite of the fact that Trump himself has repeatedly called it a ban. (A fact you may recall from Sean Spicer's interesting "the media called it a ban so Trump now refers to it as a ban" runaround logic.)
The original executive order banned all refugee admissions from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, in addition to preventing any citizen of those countries from entering the United States. The current version of the ban has lifted the restrictions on Iraq. Various courts put both versions on hold, until this week, when the Supreme Court got involved.
"Yes, at first, the ban was banned," Oliver helpfully explained during the start of his segment. "But now the court has partially banned the ban ban, instituting a partial ban pending the possibility of a future partial ban ban."
The version of the ban temporarily upheld by the Supreme Court says that a person traveling from the affected areas must have "a credible claim of a boda fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S." The White House has defined those relationships as close family members including parents and parents-in-law, children, siblings, and spouses. Not counted as close family members are grandparents, aunts or uncles, nieces or nephews, cousins, and brothers- or sisters-in-law. "Grandparents aren't close family?" Oliver quipped. "Try telling them that."
But even more troubling is that those being helped by refugee resettlement agencies don't count as having a "credible claim," meaning that even people who have been painstaking vetted won't be allowed into the country. And instead of Trump's surrogates making the rounds in interviews defending the ban, they're stuck addressing his increasingly unhinged tweets. Oliver pulled a clip of an ABC This Week interview with a Homeland Security advisor in which he was interrupted from discussing matters of national security to address Trump's CNN wrestling tweet.
"Trump was right," Oliver eventually concluded. "There is at least one grandparent who poses a grave and immediate threat to America. Unfortunately, it's the grandparent currently in f*cking charge of it."