Hawaii Judge expands definition of “close relative” in Trump’s travel ban

 Hawaii U.S District Judge Derrick Watson has ruled that President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries cannot stop grandparents and other relatives of United States citizens from entering the country, Thursday.

This comes after the Supreme Court ruling that partly reinstated the ban on refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. The judge said the ban had interpreted the Supreme Court ruling too narrowly.

The Supreme Court ruling only allowed those with “bona fide” family ties to any person or entity in the U.S into the country, but the Trump administration decided that “bonafide relationship”did not include –grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and cousins.

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Judge Watson disagreed – and ordered that those restrictions should not be enforced, harshly criticizing the government’s definition of close family relations as “the antithesis of common sense” in a ruling that changes the way the ban can now be implemented.

He wrote; “Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members”.

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Watson said the assurance by a resettlement agency to provide basic services to a newly arrived refugee constitutes  “bonafide relationship” to the U.S. because it is a formal and documented agreement that triggers responsibilities and compensation.

“‘Bona fide’ does not get any more ‘bona fide’ than that,” Watson said.

The narrowed version of the travel ban was more subdued than the initial one Trump signed in January, dropping Iraq from the list of countries.

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