10:17, July 14 319 0 abajournal.com

2017-07-14 10:17:05
Federal judge in Hawaii narrows travel ban; grandparents and grandchildren can’t be excluded from US

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ruled the travel ban can’t be used to exclude “grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States.” BuzzFeed News, the Washington Post and the Honolulu Civil Beat are among the publications covering the decision.

The revised ban bars people from six Muslim-majority countries–Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen–from entering the United States for 90 days and imposes a 120-day ban on refugees.

Watson’s ruling addressed guidelines adopted by the Trump administration after the U.S. Supreme Court said the travel ban could be enforced—except for immigrants with who have a bona fide “close familial relationship” with someone in the United States.

The administration’s guidelines say immigrants are exempt from the ban if they have a close family member in the United States, defined as a parent (including an in-law), spouse, child (including an adult child), son- or daughter-in law, and sibling (including a stepsibling or half-sibling), and fiancé or fiancée.

Watson said the government guidelines were “unduly restrictive.”

“The government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense,” Watson said. “Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members.”

Watson ruled on a request by Hawaii. He initially declined to rule in the case, saying Hawaii should seek relief in the U.S. Supreme Court since it had partly lifted an injunction that had prevented the travel ban from taking effect.

On appeal, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the federal court didn’t have authority to clarify the U.S. Supreme Court’s order on the travel ban, but said the court had the power to interpret or enforce the Supreme Court’s injunction, or to enjoin its violation.