Judge Won’t Change How Travel Ban Defines ‘Family’

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The Trump administration may not view grandparents, aunts, uncles and others has having close enough family relationships in the U.S. to be excluded from the government’s travel ban, but the U.S. Supreme Court on at least two occasions has recognized the importance of those family bonds, the National Law Journal reports. The justices soon may be asked to weigh just how important those relationships are in the latest dispute over President Trump’s executive order banning some travel into the U.S. The order restricting travel by foreign nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days and refugees for 120 days took effect June 29.

Government officials said the travel ban would apply to grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-law and sisters-in-law. The administration excluded fiances. Challengers said that, “The government has ordered consulates to exclude aliens who have some of the most elemental relationships known to human society, from grandparents to nephews.” They asked federal judge Derrick Watson to clarify his injunction in light of the high court action. Watson said yesterday, “This court will not upset the Supreme Court’s careful balancing and ‘equitable judgment’. ” Nearly two decades ago, the justices considered Washington state’s child visitation law. Grandparents had petitioned for visitation rights under the state law, but the parents of their grandchildren objected. The grandparents lost in the Supreme Court, which said the state visitation law was so broad that it interfered with the rights of parents to raise their children.

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