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Supreme Court temporarily allows broader exemptions for relatives from countries affected by Travel Ban


The Supreme Court has for the time being allowed the Trump administration to implement restrictions on the nation's refugee program, but it let stand a lower court order from Hawaii regarding the extended definition of a ‘close familial relationship’. The Supreme Court stated last month that the Travel Ban could go into effect and be applied to people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen without connections to the United States but that foreigners from such countries with a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States must be exempted from the ban.

The Supreme Court did not define such a relationship but gave examples of what would qualify for the exemption: a close relative in the United States, a place in an American university, a job offer or speaking engagement. The Trump administration interpreted the Supreme Court’s requirement of a “close familial relationship” to be a parent, spouse, fiance, son or daughter, sibling, son-in-law or daughter-in-law in the United States.

However the Supreme Court has now ruled that grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law with a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States must be exempted from the ban, and must be admitted while the case proceeds on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

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