WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is pushing back on claims that President Donald Trump's travel ban is soon set to expire amid an ongoing court battle.
The White House released a memorandum Wednesday declaring that the effective date of the president's executive order banning travelers from six Muslim-majority countries "is delayed or tolled" until all relevant court injunctions "are lifted or stayed."
Some critics of the travel ban have said that the policy's 90-day halt to visitors from Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Libya is due to expire in mid-June, even though the ban itself has never taken effect.
The administration has argued that the clock doesn't start until the policy can take effect.
The memorandum instructs the secretary of state, the attorney general, the secretary of homeland security, and the director of national intelligence to implement the ban 72 hours after all applicable court injunctions are lifted or stayed.
Having so far failed to persuade judges to allow its travel ban to take effect, the Trump administration is turning to the nation's highest court with its slim conservative majority.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department formally asked the Supreme Court to let the temporary ban on visitors from those six countries and refugees from around the world to be put in place. The high court also is being asked to uphold the constitutionality of the Trump travel policy, which lower courts have blocked saying it shows anti-Muslim prejudice.