Hawaii Judge Rules Trump's Travel Ban No Longer Applies To Grandparents
On Thursday, a judge in Hawaii loosened Trump's travel ban by exempting grandparents from the policy's restrictions. After the travel ban was implemented in late June, travelers from six majority-Muslim nations had to prove they had "bona fide" relationships with people in the United States in order to bypass the ban and enter the country. Though the State Department's definition of "bona fide" was incredibly limited at first, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson has forced it to expand.
In the ruling on Thursday, Watson criticized the ban of being both "unduly restrictive" and "the antithesis of common sense." He wrote:
Initially, the Trump administration had decided that the travel ban wouldn't apply to travelers who have spouses, parents, children, parents-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, fiancés, or siblings in the states. Now, that list of exemptions will include not only grandparents but also grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In addition to loosening the definition of "close family," Watson also made it easier for more refugees to be admitted into the United States. He ruled that if a refugee already has "a documented agreement with a local sponsor and a place to live," the government doesn't have the right to enforce the travel ban upon him or her. In his decision, Watson wrote down his reasoning:
Trump has yet to respond to Watson's decision, but it's possible that he could take it to either the Supreme Court or the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals if he disagrees with the amendments to the ban.