(AP) — The state of Hawaii has filed a court challenge to the Trump administration’s definition of a close U.S. relationship needed to avoid the new travel ban.
Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin says he’s concerned the administration may be violating the U.S. Supreme Court’s travel ban ruling.
The travel ban temporarily barring some citizens of six majority-Muslim countries from coming into the United States went into effect Thursday. The new rules stop people from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iran and Libya from getting a visa to the United States unless they have a “bona fide” relationship with a close relative, school or business in the U.S.
Based on a schedule set by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, the administration has until Monday to respond to Hawaii’s motion, Chin said at a Friday press conference. The state will then have until Thursday to respond to the federal government, he said.
Watson will issue a decision after that, Chin said, adding there are no plans for a hearing at this time.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday exempted people from the ban if they can prove a “bone fide” relationship with a U.S. citizen or entity. The Trump administration had said the exemption would apply to citizens with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the U.S.
Chin says many of the people that the federal government decided to exclude are considered “close family” in Hawaii.
At a press conference Monday, Chin said he welcomed the Supreme Court’s announcement that it will hear challenges to the travel ban this fall, even though it allowed part of the ban to temporarily take effect.
Hawaii has been on the front line of the battle against Trump’s travel ban and other policies.
Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for October. Chin said he would attend, but that he expected Neal Katyal, the lead attorney for the state in Hawaii v. Trump, would conduct arguments before the court.
Hawaii filed its lawsuit Feb. 3, one week after the president issued the original travel ban. It called for suspending the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, banned Syrian refugees indefinitely and barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days.
That suit was suspended by Judge Watson in Honolulu after a federal judge in Seattle issued a nationwide injunction against the plan.
In March, Trump modified his ban, removing Iraq from the list of seven banned nations (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) and not singling Syrian refugees for an indefinite ban or giving preferential treatment to the refugee claims of religious minorities.
Watson then allowed Hawaii to modify its suit to challenge the second ban, and ultimately issued a nationwide injunction against it.
Civil Beat’s Chad Blair and Courtney Teague contributed to this report.
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