Travel Ban Takes Effect With Last-Minute Change

Hawaii files legal challenge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2017 4:04 AM CDT
Hawaii Files Challenge as Travel Ban Comes Into Effect
John Wider holds up a sign becoming Muslims in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, June 29, 2017, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The latest version of President Trump's travel ban took effect Thursday evening with a last-minute change: Fiances have been added to the list of people considered "close" relatives, the BBC reports. But grandparents, aunts, and uncles, among others, aren't considered close enough—and without what the administration deems a close relative or business relationship, travelers from six Muslim-majority nations and would-be refugees from around the world can be denied entry. Hawaii filed an emergency court challenge to the ban late Thursday, taking issue with the Trump administration's interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling reinstating parts of the ban. The latest:

  • The motion filed by Hawaii state lawyers argues that the Trump administration is defining "close relative" too narrowly, Politico reports. They also say refugees with longstanding connections to US resettlement agencies should be exempt from the ban, which makes exceptions for people with "bona fide" ties to US entities. They argue that the administration shouldn't ban refugees "who already have a documented agreement with a local sponsor and a place to live."

  • Previously issued visas are still being honored, unlike during the initial introduction of the travel ban in January, meaning there was far less chaos at airports this time around, the Guardian reports. There were fewer protests, though volunteers at airports including JFK and LAX gathered to see if any travelers needed legal assistance.
  • Administration officials say the list of relatives is based on the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. A senior administration official says those who feel they deserve exemptions, such as people raised by their grandmothers, are welcome to "articulate that reason" to authorities, reports the Washington Post. "We will look at those cases case by case, but it won't be the relationship that will be the determining factor," the official says.
  • Civil rights groups say they will challenge the new version of the ban, which they say is arbitrary and in violation of the Supreme Court ruling, the New York Times reports. "It remains clear that President Trump's purpose is to disparage and condemn Muslims,” says Omar Jadwat of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.
  • Reuters reports that a senior administration official, when asked how banning grandparents or grandchildren would make the US safer, cited Trump's plan to pause "certain travel while we review our security posture."
(More Trump travel ban stories.)

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