A U.S. appeals court allowed President Donald Trump to proceed with part of the latest version of his travel ban Monday, but it created an exemption for foreigners with American ties.
The three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco defined connections as family relations and "formal, documented" relationships with US-based entities such as universities and resettlement agencies. Watson had blocked the government's restrictions on travel from six majority-Muslim countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Chad. The court said those included "grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins" who live in the U.S. The Trump administration has argued in federal courts that the bans fall within presidential power and are needed to protect Americans from potential terrorism.
The ruling does not affect people from the two other countries listed in Trump's ban, North Korea and Venezuela.
Those connections are defined as family relationships and "formal, documented" relationships with USA -based entities such as universities and resettlement agencies. "We believe that the proclamation should be allowed to take effect in its entirety", Justice Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said. "The government will begin enforcing the travel proclamation consistent with the partial stay", she said.
In unveiling the third version of the travel ban in late September, the administration said that the eight countries did not share with the USA information to enable proper screening of their nationals.
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"I'm pleased that family ties to the USA, including grandparents, will be respected", Chin added. The second one expired in September after a long court fight and was replaced with another revised version.
Judges have said the president's bans either violated immigration law or were unconstitutional in discriminating against Muslims. The Ninth Circuit court will hear arguments on December 6 on whether to keep or permanently overturn Watson's stay.
The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals mirrors language from a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling on another version of the ban.