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Federal Judge Rules Grandparents, Other Relatives Exempt From Travel Ban

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In a blow to the Trump administration, a federal judge in Hawaii ruled Thursday that grandparents and other relatives should be exempt from the travel ban on residents from six Muslim-majority countries.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson comes after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed parts of President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration to take effect.

The Supreme Court ruled that the travel ban could not apply to foreign nationals with a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S.

The Trump administration determined that the exemption applied to spouses, parents, children, fiancées and siblings.

However, Watson wrote that the government's definition represents the "antithesis of common sense," and argued close family members should be defined to include grandparents.

"Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members," Watson wrote. "The Government's definition excludes them. That simply cannot be."

Watson ruled that grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the U.S. should be exempt from the travel ban.

In a post on Twitter, Neal Katyal, one of the attorneys representing Hawaii in the case, called Watson's decision a "sweeping victory."

Watson ruled that refugees with formal assurances of placement services by U.S. resettlement agencies should also be exempt from the ban.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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