Travel ban ruling shocks, disappoints Muslim Minnesotans

- Hamline University student Khalid Mohamed has about a dozen family members who were hoping to move to Minnesota from refugee camps in Kenya, but those plans have been put on hold indefinitely because of a new ruling by the nation's highest court.

"Those families after they've gone through that process and now being told, 'You are not going to be able to come in,'" Mohamed said. "It’s going to devastate them for a long time."

The U.S. Supreme Court says the Trump administration can fully enforce a travel ban on people from six majority Muslim countries while legal challenges make their way through the courts.

Lower courts had ruled travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somali, Syria and Yemen, who claimed they had bona fide connections to the U.S. like grandparents or in-laws, could be allowed into the country, but this ruling closes that loophole.

"My first reactions are heartbreak," State Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, said. "I'm really disappointed. I don't think any of us were expecting it."

Rep. Omar says if the current ban were in place years ago, she wouldn't have been able to come to this country, where she became the first Somali-American Muslim lawmaker elected to public office in the U.S. She says the ban could affect hundreds of Somalis in Minnesota hoping to be reunited with their long lost loved ones.

"You have hope then you feel the rug is pulled from under you," Rep. Omar said.

Mohamed believes his cousins, aunts and uncles will eventually be able to join him here in the Twin Cities, but he's not holding his breath.

"I know things will get even worse," Mohamed said. "I do know I do believe things will get better, but not anytime soon."

Two challenges to the ban will be heard later this week before the U.S. Court of Appeals in both Richmond, Virginia and Seattle.

After those rulings, the losing sides will likely try to get a final verdict from the Supreme Court before the end of its term in June.

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