Ever since Trump announced he was running for president of the United States, he’s promised his supporters a ban on Muslims. However, Muslim families scored a major victory late Thursday night thanks to a federal judge in Hawaii.
Judge Derrick K. Watson made several important rulings regarding Trump’s Muslim ban. The New York Times reported:
‘…Trump administration’s temporary ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries and on refugees should not prevent grandparents and other close relatives of residents from entering the United States.’
Also, the judge made another important ruling regarding refugees with no close family ties in the US.
‘…also declared that refugees with ties to a resettlement agency that was committed to receiving them had a relationship that made them eligible to enter the country.’
It’s reported that this will allow thousands to enter the country even though they have no Trump-defined family relationships within the United States.
Before this ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States previously ruled if an individual could prove they had a “bona fide relationship” with a “person or entity” within the US, they could enter the country. However, it’s important to note SCOTUS did not define what a close relative was.
The US State Department, however, defined close relationships that would be allowed an exemption from the travel ban as “spouses, parents, parents-in-law, children, sons- and daughters-in-law, fiancés and siblings.” However, the State Dept. refused to exempt family members such as “grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, brothers- and sisters-in-law.” Furthermore, it banned those with a relationship to a resettlement agency, which is what the federal judge overturned.
In his ruling, Judge Watson delivered a harsh criticism of the ban.
‘Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.’
On the issue of refugees with no close relatives but a tie to resettlement agencies, he wrote:
‘An assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency, in fact, meets each of the Supreme Court’s touchstones. It is formal, it is a documented contract, it is binding, it triggers responsibilities and obligations, including compensation, it is issued specific to an individual refugee only when that refugee has been approved for entry by the Department of Homeland Security.’
He also wrote:
‘Bona fide does not get any more bona fide than that.’
Although SCOTUS allowed a partial watered down version of the travel ban to be put in place, this is still a huge victory for the actual US Constitution, but more importantly, the families of Muslim men and women who seek refuge within the United States.
No comment from the Trump administration has been made as of now; however, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs took to Twitter and called it a “sweeping victory.”
‘Sweeping victory in #hawaiivstrump just now. Court: “The government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense.”‘
Sweeping victory in #hawaiivstrump just now. Court: “The government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense.”
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) July 14, 2017
Featured image by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images.