FEDERAL COURT ORDERS “CLOSE FAMILY” DEFINITION IN TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN TO BE EXPANDED

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Ruling also protects refugees with resettlement to U.S. approved

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2017 (San Francisco) – Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could prohibit travelers from six mostly Muslim countries, provided that people with close family members or other ties to the U.S. are allowed to enter. But now federal judge Derick Watson has ruled that the Trump administration’s interpretation of close family was too narrow. 

The court held that grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sister-s in law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the U.S. should be allowed entry, in addition to parents, children and siblings already allowed to enter.

Judge Watson wrote that “ grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government's definition excludes them. That simply cannot be."

Countries included in the travel ban are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The ruling is in response filed by the state of Hawaii to the administration’s policy.

The judge also gave protection to refugees by finding that a formal assurance from a refugee resettlement agency issued after homeland Security has approved admission is a binding contract that cannot be revoked.

The Trump team now may appeal the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal or directly to the Supreme Court.