The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily lifted the restrictions imposed by a lower court on the implementation of President Donald Trump's order barring refugees seeking entry to the country.
On Monday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a short-term order that puts a hold on a federal appeals court ruling last week that would have allowed refugees to enter the U.S. if a resettlement agency had agreed to help them.
The Trump administration said in its emergency motion on Monday that the federal court ruling, which was supposed to take effect on Tuesday, would have allowed up to 24,000 additional refugees into the country.
The Justice Department stated that the ruling "will disrupt the status quo and frustrate orderly implementation of the order's refugee provisions."
In June, the high court ruled that the travel ban, which imposed a 120-day ban on refugees and barred travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, could not be applied against refugees who had "a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."
In its latest filing, the government argued that resettlement agencies do not deal directly with refugees until they enter the country. The agencies only have agreements with the federal government, which, in turn, deals with the refugees.
"An assurance agreement does not create any agreement whatsoever with the refugee," the Justice Department stated, according to NBC News.
Kennedy's temporary order would give the full Supreme Court time to consider the merits of the government's emergency request. The high court is scheduled to hear arguments on Trump's overall travel ban on Oct. 10 to determine whether the president had the authority to impose his executive order in the first place.
The administration had reportedly decided not to challenge another part of the appeals court ruling that granted exemptions to grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins of legal U.S. residents from the travel ban. In June, the government said that only parents, parents-in-law, spouses, fiancés, children, and children-in-law of Americans would be granted visas while the travel ban is in effect.
The temporary visa ban is set to expire in late September, while the refugee ban will lapse in late October. The Trump administration had stated that the temporary ban would give officials time to assess U.S. vetting procedures and would address the risk that terrorists could slip into the country.
Trump's order was blocked by lower courts, which argued that the administration had overstepped its authority and had unconstitutionally targeted Muslims.