9th Circuit narrows Trump's travel ban

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  Updated Sept. 7, 2017 at 8:22 PM
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Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court on Thursday reject President Donald Trump's attempts to prevent extended family members of Americans from entering the country as part of his executive order banning travel from six majority-Muslim countries.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the administration can't exclude grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in its attempts to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's limitations on Trump's revised travel ban.

In June, the high court said it would decide the overall legality of the travel ban this fall. The court ruled that travelers from the six targeted countries can bypass the travel ban and enter the United States if they can prove they have a "bona fide" relationship with a U.S. person or entity.

The Trump administration defined that as immediate relatives -- including spouses, children, parents, fiancés and fiancées.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who sits in Hawaii, ordered in July the list to be expanded to include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws, and the Supreme Court agreed, sending the case down to the 9th Circuit for resolution.

The three-panel appeals court unanimously decided not to overturn Watson's expansion.

The court also ruled that refugees who had already been assigned to resettlement programs in the United States can enter the country, a contradiction to Trump's order.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the ban Oct. 10.

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