Supreme Court Decision Exempts Grandparents From Travel Ban

View of the Supreme Court building
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A new Supreme Court decision has exempted grandparents of U.S. citizens from the latest version of President Donald Trumps travel ban.

The LA Times reports that in the Wednesday decision the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could temporarily reinstate restrictions on refugees entering the country, but that it could not limit the kinds of close family members exempt from the travel ban. The Supreme Court said that it was up to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to consider which refugees and family members are included in the ban.

The Trump administration had appealed an earlier ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii to the Supreme Court. In that ruling, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson had ordered the government not to enforce the ban for refugees with close relatives in the United States, including grandparents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts.


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Reuters reports that a memo from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sent to all U.S. diplomatic posts following that decision, telling officials that grandparents of U.S. citizens from the six Muslim-majority countries to which the ban applies are now eligible to receive U.S. visas.

An earlier Supreme Court decision had allowed parts of the travel ban to go into effect as the court prepares to hear oral arguments on the full case. That decision limited the ban by preventing it from applying to foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. In the Trump administrations initial guidelines on what constitutes such a relationship, grandparents were not exempt, although parents, spouses, children, sons- and daughters-in-law and siblings were.

The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the full case October 10.

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