US judge rules grandpas and grandmas exempt from Trump travel ban

US judge rules grandpas and grandmas exempt from Trump travel ban
Grandparents will be included in the US government's definition of 'close family, allowing grandmas and pas to circumvent Trump's travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries.
2 min read
14 July, 2017
Trump's travel ban has divided the US [Getty]

A US federal judge has ruled that grandparents, grandchildren and other relatives of people in the US should be exempt from the Donald Trump travel ban on citizens of six Muslim-majority countries.

The decision by Hawaii Judge Derrick Watson follows a decision by the US Supreme Court to allow part of the so-called "Muslim ban" to go into effect on 30 June.

It followed five months of legal battles by activists and the lower courts. 

The court passed a 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

There was also a 120-day ban on refugees, with exceptions for people with "close family relationships" in the United States.

The Trump administration defined "close family relationship" to include parents, spouses, children, fiancees and siblings but excluded grandparents.

Watson found that "the Government's narrowly defined list finds no support in the careful language of the Supreme Court or even in the immigration statutes on which the Government relies".

"Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents," he wrote.

"Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government's definition excludes them. That simply cannot be."

Watson ordered Homeland Security and the State Department not to enforce the ban on "grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States."