Not just your grandparents
Thursday night, the 9th Circuit Appellate Court struck another blow to Trump’s second, scaled down travel order.
The latest, in this unnecessarily long and drawn out saga, is the 9th Circuit’s opinion allowing just about every family member of foreign nationals receiving visitor benefits exemption from the president’s travel order which took aim at countries known to be state sponsors of terror (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).
From the Associated Press:
A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s limited view of who is allowed into the United States under the president’s travel ban, saying grandparents, cousins and similarly close relations of people in the U.S. should not be prevented from coming to the country.
The unanimous ruling from three judges on the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also cleared the way for refugees accepted by a resettlement agency to travel here. The decision upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii who found the administration’s view too strict.
“Stated simply, the government does not offer a persuasive explanation for why a mother-in-law is clearly a bona fide relationship, in the Supreme Court’s prior reasoning, but a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin is not,” the 9th Circuit said.
The appeals panel wrote that under typical court rules, its ruling would not take effect for at least 52 days. But in this instance, the judges said, many refugees would be “gravely imperiled” by such a delay, so the decision will take effect in five days.
“Refugees’ lives remain in vulnerable limbo during the pendency of the Supreme Court’s stay,” they wrote. “Refugees have only a narrow window of time to complete their travel, as certain security and medical checks expire and must then be reinitiated.”
The government interpreted such family relations to include immediate family members and in-laws, but not grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. The judge in Hawaii overruled that interpretation, expanding the definition of who can enter the country to the other categories of relatives.
Professor Jacobson, who has covered this issue at length (see here), last blogged on the subject almost two months ago:
In the ongoing saga over the lower federal courts’ attempt to usurp presidential power over who may enter the country, the Trump administration late last night filed a request for the Supreme Court to review and to halt the Hawaii federal court order that dramatically scaled back Trump’s Travel Order No. 2.
As described in our post about the Hawaii Order, we noted that those exempted from the Order extend far beyond the “close familial” relations as described in the prior Supreme Court ruling which substantially overruled the Hawaii Court’s prior preliminary injunction. Those exempted, according to the Hawaii federal court, include:
“grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States”
While all of these categories expand what the Supreme Court ruled, the “cousins” exemption is particularly abusive. What degree of cousin? I have 2nd cousins I haven’t seen in decades – are they now my “close familial relations” under the Hawaii Order? What about more distant cousins? The Hawaii Order strips the Supreme Court ruling of almost all practical effect, and exempts entire extended families, some of which themselves may number in the hundreds of people.
As The Telegraph notes, these categories plus the easing of restrictions on “refugee” entry, open up tens of thousands of people to entry outside the Travel Order, and I think that’s on the low side.
But that’s not what you hear in the mainstream media, which focuses on grandparents.
And you would know that the headline for the AP article listed above reads thusly:
Yet again, the court assumes Trump’s motives are anti-Muslim and therefore discriminatory and not the least bit tethered to national security concerns.
Full opinion here:
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