The ‘Ban’ Played On With Grams, Gramps

MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - MOSTLY POL­I­TICS Dan Boy­lan

The head­line in a re­cent Wash­ing­ton Post ar­ti­cle read, “Supreme Court al­lows Trump travel ban en­force­ment, but says it must al­low broader ex­emp­tions for rel­a­tives.”

The ar­ti­cle con­tin­ued: “The court’s terse or­der means the ad­min­is­tra­tion can­not im­pose a blan­ket pro­hi­bi­tion on peo­ple from those coun­tries who have grand­par­ents, aunts, un­cles and other rel­a­tives in the United States. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has ad­vanced a stricter in­ter­pre­ta­tion of what kind of fam­ily re­la­tion­ships could en­ti­tle a per­son to re­ceive a U.S. visa, but a lower court in Hawai‘i ruled that the cri­te­ria were too tight.”

The win goes to the State of Hawai‘i, its at­tor­ney gen­eral, Doug Chin, and to all the grand­pas and grand­mas, aunts and un­cles, nieces and neph­ews, and grand­chil­dren.

And there’s one other win­ner: U.S. Dis­trict Judge Der­rick K. Wat­son of Hawai‘i, who ruled against the “nar­rowly de­fined list” of ex­emp­tions of­fered by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“Com­mon sense,” Wat­son wrote, “dic­tates that close in­clude grand­par­ents. In­deed, grand­par­ents are the epit­ome of close fam­ily mem­bers. The gov­ern­ment’s def­i­ni­tion ex­cludes them. That sim­ply can­not be.”

I con­cur, as did six of the nine Supremes. I would ar­gue, not from prece­dent or orig­i­nal in­tent of the Found­ing Fa­thers, but from Hawai‘i’s his­tory and my own re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence with 9-week-old Mika La Fleur.

She’s my wife Glo­ria’s (aka “the high-strung Filip­ina”) and - uct of our daugh­ter Erin and our son-in-law, Ray.

I had lob­bied hard for the name Danielle, but lost. No mat­ter my yearn­ings for im­mor­tal­ity, Mika is, un­ques­tion­ably, the most beau­ti­ful baby in the his­tory of hu­mankind.

How do I know this to be true? Well, by the re­sponse of the dozens and dozens of friends, col­leagues and to­tal strangers to whom I have shown dozens and dozens of pic­tures of Mika. That is a huge sam­ple, and the re­sult is un

And what is that re­sponse? “How cute!” Or, “So cute!” Or, “What a beau­ti­ful baby!” Fur­ther proof: At the re­cent 95th birth­day party for her great-grand­mother Phyl­lis Con­stantino, Mika ab­so­lutely owned the party. Ev­ery- one wanted a turn at hold­ing her, touch­ing her baby skin and kiss­ing her cheek. Mika seemed to rel­ish it all.

And the “com­mon sense” of grand­par­ents con­sti­tut­ing close fam­ily is some­how lost on the Trumpians. That 95-year-old birth­day girl and her late hus­band Ben Con­stantino brought up our kids, Erin and older brother Peter, damned near as much her par­ents did. They babysat while Glo and I taught school.

Both chil­dren adored their grand­par­ents, fol­low­ing Ben or put­tered; bask­ing in the warmth and good food pro­vided by Phyl­lis.

Now with Mika, their child Glo sim­ply glows. She’s taken over the role as grand­par­ent babysit­ter — feed­ing, chang­ing, dress­ing and watch­ing over the sleep­ing child.

Grand­par­ents as babysit­ters in Hawai‘i is an old, old story. Where par­ents must work to pay the Is­land’s ex­or­bi­tant costs, re­tired grand­par­ents watch the ba­bies. They can be seen ev­ery­where, push­ing their grand­chil­dren at the mall, pick­ing them up from preschool. For a few years at least, they are the glue that keeps the fam­ily whole.

So Hawai‘i’s at­tor­ney gen­eral and a Hawai‘i boy as fed­eral judge stood for the na­tion of grand­par­ents, and won.

The au­thor’s wife Glo­ria, pic­tured here with their first grand­child Mika, has rel­ished her new role, prov­ing that grand­par­ents are ‘close fam­ily mem­bers,’ de­spite the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s def­i­ni­tion of the term.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.