Court rules grandparents cannot be excluded under Trump's travel ban

Judge Watson also ruled that a prospective refugee who has a commitment from a resettlement agency in the U.S.
By Aaron Sims | Jul 18, 2017
The same federal district court judge who first issued the injunction against President Trump's revised travel ban ruled late Thursday that the White House's recent implementation of the ban unreasonably excludes grandparents and other close family members.

Saying that the administration's interpretation of the Supreme Court's order that exempted from the travel ban people who could show a "bona fide" relationship with U.S. citizens or entitities was unduly narrow, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson of Hawaii issued a revised preliminary injunction that bars the government from applying the ban to grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law, a report by ABC News said.

"Common sense dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members," wrote the judge. "The Government's definition excludes them. That simply cannot be."

Judge Watson also ruled that a prospective refugee who has a commitment from a resettlement agency in the U.S. has a "bona fide" relationship and cannot be denied entry under the ban, even if admission to the country would exceed the administration's 50,000 annual cap on refugees.

"It is formal, it is a documented contract, it is binding, it triggers responsibilities and obligations, including compensation, it is issued to an individual refugee only when that refugee has been approved for entry by the Department of Homeland Security, and it is issued in the ordinary course, and historically has been for decades," Watson wrote, as reported by Politico. "Bona fide does not get any more bona fide than that."

The Justice Department intends to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday.

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