Travel ban updated to include new exceptions

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The exceptions to President Trump’s travel ban to six countries that sponsor terrorism have been expanded to include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the United States.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court exempted visa applicants from the ban who are able to prove a “bona fide” relationship with a U.S. citizen or entity. This was defined to be a parent, spouse, fiancee, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already living in the U.S.

A state judge in Hawaii asked U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who blocked the president’s revised travel ban in March, to include grandparents, uncles and aunts and other close relatives on the list of exemptions.

Watson originally rejected Hawaii’s request, saying the state should go to the U.S. Supreme Court since it was seeking to clarify that court’s requirement of a “bona fide relationship.”

Hawaii appealed Watson’s ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but was denied, so they came back and asked Watson again in a different way.

“Because plaintiffs now seek such injunctive relief, the court reaches the merits of their request, consistent with the Ninth Circuit’s guidance,” Watson wrote on Thursday and ordered the government not to enforce the travel ban on grandparents, stating, “Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members.”

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