A federal judge has ruled that family members of US citizens cannot be included in President Donald Trump’s travel ban, according to Reuters.
The Hawaii judge yesterday extended the list of close family members to include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of those already living in the US. The ban applies to those travelling from six Muslim-majority countries, namely Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.
Trump’s plan caused controversy when announced during his Presidential campaign, which then called for a ban on all Muslims entering the US. After the election he presented a softer version, banning only those arriving from certain states, citing national security concerns.
It was initially blocked by the Supreme Court but then given temporary approval in March, under the condition that entrants who could prove a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the US would be accepted.
US District Judge Derrick Watson deemed the narrow definition of acceptable relationships “the antithesis of common sense,” further stating in his ruling: “Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed grandparents are the epitome of close family members.”
Watson also ruled that the US was obliged to accept refugees who have formal assistance and a promise of placement services from a resettlement agency.
The Supreme Court’s decision on the overall legitimacy of the ban is due to be reviewed in October.