U.S. federal judge weakens Trump travel ban

Reuters

Reuters

The administration subsequently set rules in place that defined family ties so narrowly it prohibited grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins.

Bossert said there's a number of efforts ongoing to implement the President's executive order, especially now that it's been freed from legal constraint by the Supreme Court.

The rules are not so much an outright ban as a tightening of tough visa policies affecting citizens from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen.

Watson also ruled that "assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency" was the sort of "bona fide relationship" that would exempt a potential refugee from being barred from the USA under the executive order, but stopped short of allowing a relationship with a U.S. law firm to qualify. In the meantime, it allowed parts of the ban to go through. There's no timetable for the Supreme Court to act, but the administration will be seeking quick action that clarifies the court's June opinion.

The Supreme Court's ruling exempted a large swath of refugees and travelers with a "bona fide relationship" with a person or an entity in the U.S. The justices did not define those relationships but said they could include a close relative, a job offer or admission to a college or university.

"Had the Supreme Court meant to protect only immediate family members and parents-in-law, surely it could have said so", Watson wrote.

The Trump administration then provided a list defining that category as including parents, spouses, children, sons- and daughters-in-law, siblings and step- or half-siblings.

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The Bench of Justices Madan Lokur and UU Lalit directed the SIT to investigate and file charge sheets by December 31 this year. In her report, she added that this was symptomatic of the "state's disinterest, the impunity enjoyed by the Armed Forces".

At the same time, the USA government has given all foreign governments 50 days to certify they meet new U.S.travel requirements or risk the possibility of sanctions.

"Family members have been separated and real people have suffered enough". Watson sided with the state, and was backed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Watson also ruled that citizens from the six Muslim-majority countries who had "bona fide" ties to the U.S. - such as a job or acceptance into university - would also be permitted to enter.

Such an assurance "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, and it is issued in the ordinary course, and historically has been for decades", Watson wrote.

Mr Trump had proposed a blanket ban on Muslims during his presidential campaign, but later limited it to a handful of countries when he issued his initial travel ban in January, promoting it as a necessary tool for national security and fighting terrorism.

The High Court will review the overall case in October, after both bans on travellers and refugees have largely run their course.

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