US judge adds 'common sense' to travel ban 2.0

Federal justice in Hawaii allows grandparents to be included in the category of close family relationships

US District Judge Derrick Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on grandparents, grandchildren, cousins etc. of people in the United States
US District Judge Derrick Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on grandparents, grandchildren, cousins etc. of people in the United States

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 US citizens that visa applicants can use to get into the US.

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 US Supreme Court in October. Only narrow categories of people, including those with relatives named in Thursday's ruling, will be considered for new visas.

US 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 might not exclude refugees who have formal assurance and promise of placement services from a resettlement agency in the US. The US 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 US 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 US.

US immigration overhaul has to wait
President Donald Trump said conditions are not in place for a thorough overhaul of the US immigration system. "What I'd like to do is a comprehensive immigration plan. But our country and political forces are not ready yet ... There are two sides of a story. It's always tough," he said.

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