United States: Federal Court Rules Travel Ban Not Enforceable Against Grandparents and Others

A federal court in Hawaii has ruled that the Department of Homeland Security may not apply the travel ban to grandparents, grandchildren and certain other family members of persons in the United States, or to certain refugees. The Trump Administration today appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit and may seek Supreme Court review.

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Jul 14, 2017
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A federal district judge in Hawaii yesterday enjoined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from applying President Trump's March 6 travel ban executive order  to exclude grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States. The court decision also enjoins the government from applying the ban to refugees who have a formal assurance from an agency within the United States that the agency will provide placement services to that refugee. The Trump Administration appealed the district court's order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today and may seek Supreme Court review.

The injunction follows a Supreme Court ruling that allows the Administration to enforce the ban, but exempts persons with a bona fide claim to a relationship with a person or entity in the United States and prohibits the travel ban from being applied against foreign nationals with close family in the United States. DHS guidance took the position that grandparents, grandchildren, and other relatives were not close family members.

What This Means for Travelers

The district court injunction expands the class of foreign nationals who are exempt from the ban, though it is not clear whether the expansion will be upheld on appeal. Fragomen is closely monitoring the travel ban and related litigation, and will provide updates as developments occur.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen. 

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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