Judge expands list of relatives exempted from Donald Trump’s travel ban


In another setback for President Donald Trump, a federal judge in Hawaii has further weakened his already diluted travel ban by vastly expanding the list of family relationships with U.S. citizens that visa applicants can use to get into the U.S.

The ruling is the latest piece of pushback in the fierce fight set off by the ban Trump first attempted in January. It will culminate with arguments in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in October.

The current rules aren’t so much an outright ban as a tightening of already-tough visa policies affecting citizens from six Muslim-majority countries: Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen. People from those countries who already have visas will be allowed into the country. Only narrow categories of people, including those with relatives named in Thursday’s ruling, will be considered for new visas.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson on Thursday ordered the government not to enforce the ban on grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the United States.

“Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents,” Watson said in his ruling. “Indeed grandparents are the epitome of close family members.”

Watson also ruled that the government may not exclude refugees who have formal assurance and promise of placement services from a resettlement agency in the U.S.

The U.S. Supreme Court, which last month allowed a scaled-back version of the ban to go into effect before it hears the case in October, exempted visa applicants from the ban if they can prove a “bona fide” relationship with a U.S. citizen or entity.

The Trump administration defined “bona fide” relationship as those who had a parent, spouse, fiance, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the U.S.

The case came back to Watson when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that he had the authority to interpret the Supreme Court’s order and block any violation of it.

Watson’s Thursday ruling broadened the definition of what counts as a “bona fide” relationship to include grandparents and the rest of the wider list of relatives.

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin, who represents the state as the plaintiff in the case said the court made clear “that the U.S. government may not ignore the scope of the partial travel ban as it sees fit.”

“Family members have been separated and real people have suffered enough,” Chin said in a statement.

The Supreme Court ruled that workers who accepted jobs from American companies, students who enrolled at a U.S. university or lecturers invited to address a U.S. audience would also be exempt.

A relationship created for purposes of avoiding the travel ban would not be acceptable, the justices said.

Trump proposed a blanket ban on Muslims during his campaign, but limited it to a handful of countries when he issued his initial travel ban in January, promoting it as a necessary tool for national security and fighting terrorism.

It set off massive protests at airports around the country and immediately sparked a sprawling, ongoing legal fight.

Courts blocked that first ban as well as a second the Trump administration had retooled, until the Supreme Court partially reinstated it at the end of June.

It’s unclear how significantly the new rules have affected or will affect travel. In most of the countries singled out, few people have the means for leisure travel. Those that do already face intensive screenings before being issued visas.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.



  1. Judge in Hawaii again, subverts the power vested in the American President by the Constitution as well as the majority of voters who elected him. Mister Watson, pay attention to your own affairs and those of your state and quit getting in the way of securing AMERICAS boarders…. If this mans ruling is allowed to stand, there will be so many grandparents and 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law it will be like trying to count fleas on a dogs back. If not mistaken, don’t some of the countries on Obamas ban list have multiple wives, thus tons of “close” relatives?????

    Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin, who represents the state as the plaintiff in the case. Interesting, the Hawaii Attornety General has no complaints, so he is taking it upon himself to file suit….Geez….

    Never in the history of America has our immigration laws been so much under direct assault by so few.

    America—>assimilate. Unwilling to do that, simple—>LEAVE.
    Parting comment. In GOD we trust. Democrats, cash only…

  2. Als nächstes Ursprung Chip traumatische
    Entzündung, die Arten welcher Wundheilung
    Gewebsneubildung im Allgemeinen obendrein
    Speziellen gemäß Deutsche Mark damaligen Wissensstand
    beschrieben : Bindegewebe, Phagozyten,
    Plasma- auch Riesenzellen, Fettgewebe,
    elastische Fasern, Gefäße überdies Epithel. Mit
    gleicher Ordnung Anfang Chip Prozesse
    welcher Wundheilung getreu Durchtrennung und
    Verpflanzung welcher in den serösen Hüllen
    gelegenen Hohlorgane ebenso wie einzelner Tuch
    (Haut, Sehnen, Knorpel, Knochen, im Übrigen
    Knochenmark, Nerven, Muskeln noch dazu Drüsen)
    – aufbauend auf Chip systematisch erarbeiteten
    eigenen Resultate – aus pathologischanatomischer
    nebst klinischer Blick dargestellt
    obendrein grundlegend erörtert.
    In Kap. 19 geht es um die „Die Transplantation
    von Haut in Anlehnung an Reverdin darüber hinaus Thiersch“ (S.
    » Welcher grösste Progress in der Praktischen
    Verwertung dieser Ueberpflanzung bis ins Letzte
    abgetrennter Theile wurde durch Chip vonseiten
    Jaques L. Reverdin eingeführte Epidermispfropfung,
    „greffe epidermique“, ins Leben
    gerufen … er trug bedeutend zur Klärung
    des unterdies zu erzielenden Heilungsvorganges
    bei, neben ermöglichte infolgedessen die alsdann
    auf Grund der Tatsache Thiersch eingeführte Verbesserung des
    Verfahrens jener künstlichen Ueberhäutung.

  3. If tables were reversed and I wanted to invade another country and bring all my aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins and their children, apply for some sort of fast track admission and of course, get public assistance, would my extended family be welcome? I really think not. So how about a bit of equality? Laws are in place for a purpose. Here and in other countries. If this idiot in Hawaii wants to extend definition of immediate family to your dead uncle-in-law, new quotas per month need to be adopted. My suggestion would be around 5 from each country. After that, put your name on the list (in English please) and wait like the other people who are actually following our LAW. Alternative is to stay home……

  4. An interesting discussion is worth comment.
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  5. Daraufhin Herkunft die traumatische
    Entzündung, die Arten jener Wundheilung noch dazu
    Gewebsneubildung im Allgemeinen ebenso wie
    Speziellen hinter dem damaligen Wissensstand
    beschrieben : Bindegewebe, Phagozyten,
    Plasma- ebenso Riesenzellen, Fettgewebe,
    elastische Fasern, Gefäße und Deckgewebe. Inbegriffen
    gleicher Ordnung Entstehen Chip Prozesse
    dieser Wundheilung zufolge Durchtrennung und
    Transplantation der in den serösen Hüllen
    gelegenen Hohlorgane ja sogar einzelner Tuch
    (Haut, Sehnen, Knorpel, Knochen, ja sogar
    Knochenmark, Nerven, Muskeln und Drüsen)
    – gründend auf Chip wissenschaftlich erarbeiteten
    eigenen Resultate – aus pathologischanatomischer
    u. a. klinischer Sicht dargestellt
    neben entscheidend erörtert.
    In Kap. 19 geht es um Chip „Die Transplantation
    seitens Haut nach Reverdin mehr noch Thiersch“ (S.
    » Solcher grösste Anstieg in solcher Praktischen
    Ausnutzung der Ueberpflanzung ohne Lücke
    abgetrennter Theile wurde im Zuge die seitens
    Jaques L. Reverdin eingeführte Epidermispfropfung,
    „greffe epidermique“, in das Existenz
    gerufen … er trug relevant zur Klärung
    des auf diese Weise zu erzielenden Heilungsvorganges
    bei, auch weil ermöglichte hierdurch die alsdann
    im Zuge Thiersch eingeführte Reparatur des
    Verfahrens dieser künstlichen Ueberhäutung.

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