Appeals Court Has Good News for Grandparents, Refugees

Court rejects Trump administration's travel ban interpretation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 7, 2017 6:49 PM CDT
Appeals Court: Grandparents Not Part of Trump's Travel Ban
Critics of President Trump's travel ban hold signs during a news conference with Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin in June in Honolulu.   (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected the Trump administration's limited view of who is allowed into the US under the president's travel ban, saying grandparents, cousins, and similarly close relations of people in the US should not be prevented from coming to the country, the AP reports. The unanimous ruling from three judges on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals also said refugees accepted by a resettlement agency should not be banned. The decision upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii who found the administration's view too strict. "Stated simply, the government does not offer a persuasive explanation for why a mother-in-law is clearly a bona fide relationship, in the Supreme Court's prior reasoning, but a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin is not," the ruling said.

The Supreme Court said in June that President Trump's 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen can be enforced pending arguments scheduled for October. But the justices said it should not apply to visitors who have a "bona fide relationship" with people or organizations in the US, such as close family ties or a job offer. The government interpreted such family relations to include immediate family members and in-laws, but not grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. The judge in Hawaii overruled that interpretation, expanding the definition of who can enter the country to the other categories of relatives. The Hawaii judge also overruled the government's assertion that refugees from those countries should be banned even if a resettlement agency in the US had agreed to take them in. (More Trump travel ban stories.)

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