Hawaii Judge Exempts Grandparents and Other Extended Family Members From Trump Travel Ban

A federal judge in Hawaii has put new limits on the Trump administration’s travel ban on people from six mostly Muslim countries, allowing travel for grandparents, grandchildren, and other family members of people in the United States.

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson’s order Thursday prevents the administration from enforcing the travel ban against grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

In his ruling, Watson took aim at how the administration defines a close familial relationship, writing, “[T]he Government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense. Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the ban on people seeking to travel to the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen may not be enforced against those who have a “bona fide relationship” to people in the United States. The Trump administration said that would include parents, spouses, fiances, sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law or siblings.

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