The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a controversial travel ban targeting people from several mostly-Muslim countries imposed by the Trump administration.

The travel ban had been through various versions after being challenged by the state of Hawaii and deemed unconstitutional by lower courts. While former versions that included Chad and Iraq were approved by the Supreme Court, individual states were still allowed to lodge complaints against the policy.

However, five out of the nine Supreme Court judges ruled that the ban, which affects travellers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, does not violate rights.

Chief justice John Roberts said the travel ban is “squarely within the scope of presidential authority” and fully justified by national security concerns.

The Trump administration said the ban was imposed on countries that “remain deficient” in terms of their identity management and information-sharing protocols. It also claims some of the countries may have “a significant terrorist presence”.

Commenting on the ruling, Greeley Koch, executive director of ACTE, said: “This is a disappointing decision on the part of the Supreme Court, and a setback for the principles underlying the global economy. ACTE is concerned by the implications for a healthy business environment that relies on the critical economic inputs and outputs from both workers and tourists coming into the US from all corners of the globe. This move fails to reduce the uncertainty that has, over the past year and a half, hindered business travellers’ productivity and efficiency.

ACTE believes in treating all travellers with fairness and respect for their contributions to the economy, regardless of country of origin. We hope that, despite this decision, the US government will take the time to carefully evaluate immigration and security policies to ensure that the economy continues to thrive without sacrificing safety.”

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