WASHINGTON – Grandparents and other extended relatives are exempt from President Trump’s travel ban, a federal judge in Hawaii declared late Thursday, again stopping the administration from implementing the president’s controversial executive order in the way that it wants.
U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson wrote that the government’s “narrowly defined list” of who might be exempt was not supported by either the Supreme Court decision partially unfreezing the ban or by the law.
“Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents,” Watson wrote. “Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.”
Watson wrote that refugees with an assurance from a resettlement agency could also be exempt from the ban.
At issue is how far the administration can go in keeping relatives of U.S. residents out under the president’s travel ban, which temporarily bars entry for all refugees and the issuance of new visas to residents of six Muslim-majority countries.
The Supreme Court ruled late last month that the government could begin enforcing the measure, but not against those with “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States.
The court offered only limited guidance on what type of relationship would qualify. “Close familial” relationships would count, the court said, as would ties such as a job offer or school acceptance letter that were “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course.”
The administration said it would let into the United…
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