Federal Judge Limits Trump Administration Travel Ban Enforcement Rules
14 July, 2017, 10:04 | Author: Nadine Todd
The state of Hawaii is again urging a federal judge to clarify his block of President Trump's travel ban. 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 United States from being banned - was too narrow.
Most specifically, Thursday's decision means that "grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States" will now count as sufficiently close family relationships to gain entry into the country.
"Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents", Watson said in his ruling.
Justice Department attorney Brad Rosenberg disagreed, arguing in court documents filed in the District of Hawaii Tuesday that the court lacks enforcement or modification authority.
Rosenberg continued, "Plaintiffs would have the court modify its injunction by adding requirements that, at best, appear nowhere in the Supreme Court's opinion".
The current rules aren't so much an outright ban as a tightening of already-tough visa policies affecting citizens from six Muslim-majority countries: Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen.
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.
"Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members".
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".
Chin accused the government of manufacturing ad hoc rules, including its "newly minted rationalization" relying on immigration laws to establish a strict definition of "family".
An initial version of the ban, published in January, sparked mass protests at airports and a series of legal challenges that prevented its implementation.
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