The Slatest

Hawaii Files Federal Court Challenge to Trump’s Latest Travel Ban

Travelers arrive on the first day of the the partial reinstatement of the Trump travel ban at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on June 29, 2017.

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As the newest, scaled-back version of the Trump administration’s Muslim ban went into effect Thursday evening, the state of Hawaii filed an emergency motion over its implementation and the White House’s interpretation of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this week. The Supreme Court stipulated that individuals from the six banned Muslim-majority countries that have “bona fide” relationships in the U.S. cannot be prohibited from entering the country. The State Department, however, very narrowly defined what relationships would be sufficient for individuals from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran, and Yemen to be granted visas—namely, a spouse, sibling, parent or child (including daughters and sons-in-law and stepchildren). Excluded from consideration, however, are other close relatives: grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, cousins and fiancés.


The state of Hawaii on Thursday asked a federal judge to again halt the enforcement of the ban because, lawyers for the state argue, the government’s ban too narrowly interpreted what constituted a “bona fide” relationship in Supreme Court’s ruling. “A few hours ago, after days of stonewalling plaintiffs’ repeated requests for information, the government announced that it intended to violate the Supreme Court’s instruction,” Hawaii said in a filing Thursday in Honolulu federal court. “It will apply the executive order to exclude a host of aliens with a ‘close familial relationship” to U.S. persons, including grandparents and grandchildren, brothers- and sisters-in-law, fiancés, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.”