Trump travel ban: Judge expands definition of 'close relative'

Trump travel ban: Judge expands definition of 'close relative'

The state of Hawaii is again urging a federal judge to clarify his block of President Trump's travel ban.

US District Court Judge Derrick Watson - who originally blocked the travel ban back in March - said the Trump administration's interpretation of the Supreme Court's decision defied common sense.

The Supreme Court ruled late last month that the administration could employ the travel ban against foreign nationals who lack any "bona fide" relationship to a person or entity in the USA, but the state of Hawaii said the administration had wrongfully interpreted that to exclude close family, such as grandparents.

Such guidelines, Chin said, would preclude plaintiff Ismael Elshikh's mother-in-law from coming into the country, for example, even though the Supreme Court ruling granted her protection. "We will continue preparing for arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in October". "Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members", he wrote.

The US Supreme Court had allowed part of the ban to go into effect on June 30, putting an end, at least temporarily, to five months of skirmishes in lower courts.

But the Trump administration decided that did not include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins.

The countries affected are Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

The Trump administration defined "close family relationship" to include parents, spouses, children, fiancees and siblings.

Rosenberg countered that an assurance from a refugee resettlement agency does not constitute a bona fide relationship and that resettlement is contingent upon a contract between the agency and the government.

In a statement, Hawaii's Attorney General Douglas Chin said, "The federal court today makes clear that the U.S. Government may not ignore the scope of the partial travel ban as it sees fit".

Trump proposed a blanket ban on Muslims during his campaign, but limited it to a handful of countries when he issued his initial travel ban in January, promoting it as a necessary tool for national security and fighting terrorism. Those that do already face intensive screenings before being issued visas.

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