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Trump administration to appeal travel ban ruling to justices

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In another setback for President Donald Trump, a federal judge in Hawaii further weakened the already-diluted travel ban by vastly expanding the list of U.S. family relationships that visitors from six Muslim-majority countries can use to get into the country.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that the administration will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, choosing to bypass the San Francisco-based appeals court that has ruled against it and go back to the high court. The justices allowed a scaled-back version of the travel ban to take effect last month and set arguments for October.

The move is the latest volley in the fierce fight over the ban Trump first tried to put in place in January.

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. People from those countries who already have visas will be allowed into the U.S.

Only narrow categories of people, including those with relatives named in the ruling, will be considered for new visas. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the U.S.

“Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents,” Watson said in his ruling. “Indeed grandparents are the epitome of close family members.”

Watson also ruled that the government may not exclude refugees who have formal assurance and promise of placement services from a resettlement agency in the U.S.

The ruling could bring relief to more than 24,000 refugees who had already been vetted and approved by the United States, resettlement agencies said.

“Many of them had already sold all of their belongings to start their new lives in safety,” said Becca Heller, director of the International Refugee Assistance Project. “This decision gives back hope to so many who would otherwise be stranded indefinitely.”

White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert told reporters that Trump administration lawyers will closely review the ruling, but it appears broad enough to “cover every refugee.”

Bossert said he does not believe that was the interpretation the U.S. Supreme Court intended when it reinstated the travel ban against those without a “bona fide relationship” with a person or an entity in the U.S.

The justices didn’t define a bona fide relationship but said it could include a close relative, a job offer or admission to a college or university. A relationship created to avoid the ban would not be acceptable, they said.

The Trump administration defined it as those who had a parent, spouse, fiance, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the U.S.

The case came back to Watson when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that he had the authority to interpret the Supreme Court’s order and block any violation of it. He broadened the definition of what counts as a close relationship.

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin, who filed the case for the broader definition, said the court made clear “that the U.S. government may not ignore the scope of the partial travel ban as it sees fit.”

“Family members have been separated and real people have suffered enough,” Chin said in a statement.

Trump has said the policy is a necessary tool for national security and fighting terrorism. His initial travel ban in January set off massive protests at airports nationwide and sparked a sprawling legal fight.

Courts blocked the first ban and the administration’s revised version until the Supreme Court weighed in.

It’s unclear how significantly the new rules have affected or will affect travel. In most of the countries singled out, few people have the means for leisure travel. Those that do already face intensive screenings before receiving visas.

 

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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