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

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

A federal judge in Hawaii ruled Thursday that grandparents, grandchildren and other relatives of people in the United States should be exempt from the Trump administration's travel ban targeting travelers from six majority-Muslim countries. Hawaii, though, had argued that the federal government's interpretation of the Supreme Court's ruling - which exempted those with a "bona fide relationship" with people or entities in the USA from being banned - was too narrow.

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

The order, by District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii, is a fresh legal blow to Mr Trump's immigration crackdown.

Judge Watson, however, disagreed - and ordered that those restrictions should not be enforced. "We will continue preparing for arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in October". The Government's definition excludes them.




The case came back to Watson when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that he had the authority to interpret the Supreme Court's order and block any violation of it. Rosenberg also elaborated on the Trump administration's definition of "close family", leaning on a formulation in the Immigration and Nationality Act that focuses on the children, spouses and parents of USA citizens or permanent residents.

Watson's Thursday ruling broadened the definition of what counts as a "bona fide" relationship to include grandparents and the rest of the wider list of relatives.

Rosenberg may be conflating the portion of Watson's injunction that protects refugees, which the Supreme Court left intact, with the injunction against the 120-day ban on immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries, which the Supreme Court overturned.

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".


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