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14 July 2017

Trump travel ban: Judge expands definition of ‘close relative’

A family hug each other at Washington Dulles Airport on 26 June, 2017, after the U.S. Supreme Court granted parts of the Trump administration's emergency request to put its travel ban into effectImage copyright
Reuters

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The ruling means grandparents and other relatives of people in the US can now visit

Grandparents and other relatives of people living in the US cannot be barred from entering under President Trump’s travel ban, a judge has ruled.

The order, by District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii, is a fresh legal blow to Mr Trump’s immigration crackdown.

The judge said the ban had too narrowly interpreted a Supreme Court ruling.

That decision, made last month, partly reinstated the ban on refugees and travellers from six Muslim-majority countries.

It said only those with “bona fide” family ties would be let into the US.

But the Trump administration decided that did not include grandparents, as well as grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins.

The judge condemned the government’s definition of a close relative as “unduly restrictive” writing “common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members”.

The Supreme Court is still considering President Trump’s attempt to prevent people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from travelling to the US.

The justices allowed a temporary ban to come into effect in May.

Mr Trump says the restrictions are needed to keep America safe and prevent terror attacks.

However, critics including states and refugee advocacy groups have said the ban discriminates against Muslims.

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