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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Partial Trump Travel Ban Already Challenged by Hawaii

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin at the University of Guam commencement in May

Honolulu -- Within hours of its effectiveness, the state of Hawaii was in federal court, asking for clarification of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that reinstated parts of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, arguing that the Trump administration had interpreted the court's decision too narrowly.

In a court filing, Hawaii said the U.S. government intended to violate the Supreme Court's instructions by improperly excluding from the United States people who actually have a close family relationship to U.S. persons.

Hawaii called the refusal of the new ban to recognize grandparents, fiancés, and other relatives as part of an acceptable family relationship, "a plain violation of the Supreme Court's command."

The 90-day ban took effect at 8 p.m. E.T. along with a 120-day ban on all refugees.

On Monday, the Supreme Court revived parts of a travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries, narrowing the scope of lower court rulings that had blocked parts of a March 6 executive order and allowing his temporary ban to go into effect for people with no strong ties to the United States.

The court agreed to hear arguments during its next term starting in October to decide finally whether the ban is lawful.

The Supreme Court exempted from the ban travelers and refugees with a "bona fide relationship" with a person or entity in the United States. As an example, the court said those with a "close familial relationship" with someone in the United States would be covered.

The Trump administration decided on the basis of its interpretation of the court's language, that grandparents, grandchildren and fiancés traveling from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen would be barred from obtaining visas while the ban was in place.

In its court filing, Hawaii echoed criticism from immigrant and refugee groups that the Trump administration had defined too narrowly who should be exempted.

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