Hawaii steps up again to challenge the “closeness” of Trump’s new travel ban criteria


“In Hawaii, ‘close family’ includes many of the people that the federal government decided on its own to exclude from that definition. Unfortunately, this severely limited definition may be in violation of the Supreme Court ruling,” Hawaii State Attorney General Doug Chin said in a news release today.

The Aloha state once again stepped up and filed a court challenge today after the Trump administration set limitations on family relationships for travelers seeking a visa from the six mostly Muslim countries named in Trump’s travel ban, namely Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran, and Yemen.

The US Supreme Court on Monday exempted people from the ban if they can prove a “bona fide” relationship with a US citizen or entity. The Trump administration had said the exemption would apply to citizens of the six named countries with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or sibling already in the US.

Hawaii filed an emergency motion today asking a federal judge to clarify that the administration cannot enforce the ban against fiancés or relatives not defined by the administration guidelines. The motion notes that the plaintiffs challenging the travel ban had asked the Trump administration after the Supreme Court ruling to indicate how it intended to implement the bans.

The motion states that the administration did not respond until the information was publicly posted, hours before the partial bans went into effect at 2 pm Hawaii time today. US District Judge Derrick Watson has not yet issued a ruling on Hawaii’s motion.

PHOTO: Hawaii State Attorney General Doug Chin