Association Agenda: Travel Update
Security changes pose challenges for business travelers and association meetings.
On June 26, the Supreme Court agreed to allow a limited version of President Trump’s travel ban to take effect and will hear arguments in the case when the court reconvenes in October.
In an unsigned opinion, the court said the ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries could take effect, but that it can’t be enforced against foreign nationals who have a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the U.S.
The limited travel ban went into effect on June 29 and runs for 90 days. During that time, the government will review its vetting procedures for foreign nationals from the designated countries. Until the Supreme Court rules on the merits of the case, the administration will have to consider the “bona fide relationship” exception on a case-by-case basis. The court said, for example, that a foreign national who is visiting a family member in the U.S. would have such a relationship, as would students who are attending a U.S. university.
In addition to the travel ban, U.S. officials also announced in late June enhanced security and screening measures for all commercial flights to the U.S. Since March, passengers on flights to the U.S. from certain Muslim-majority countries have been prohibited from bringing laptops and other electronic devices into the cabin with them. There had been talk of expanding the laptop ban to other inbound flights, but Department of Homeland Security officials said airlines and airports will instead be responsible for implementing enhanced screening of laptops and smartphones, as well as increased security protocols.
“We’re hopeful that airlines and airports will be able to smoothly implement the enhanced security and screening measures announced by Homeland Security officials this week,” said ASAE President and CEO John Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. “The good news is that it appears the government has found a way to raise the bar in terms of necessary security precautions without the need for a wide-scale laptop ban or other policies that would inconvenience the traveling public.”