Activists push back on travel ban’s definition of ‘close relationship’
Morteza Taiebat is a dual Ph.D student at the University of Michigan who’s getting married this summer to his fiancee Elham Amini in Iran.
The couple plan to live in Ann Arbor through 2021 while Taiebat completes his studies in environmental sustainability and civil engineering.
But he is worried about their chances of being together after their August nuptials because of new provisions in the Trump administration’s 90-day travel ban that took effect Thursday evening. Under it, those seeking a visa to enter the U.S. must show close business or family ties — but fiancee is not a covered relationship.
“We are absolutely worried,” said Taiebat. “We don’t know what to do. It’s a very uncertain time for us. Of course we want to be a couple, and be here as long as I am a student.”
Taiebat’s fiancee, who lives in Iran, is among the people from six Muslim-majority countries covered by the travel ban who will soon seek visas to enter the U.S.
The travel ban, proposed five months ago, took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court decided this week to let parts of it go forward, including barring entry to those traveling from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen who lack any “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
The High Court said it would hear arguments in October.
Under the new provisions, those with an approved visa will not lose it. Others eligible to enter from the six countries must show they have a spouse, parent, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling who lives in the U.S.
Hawaii filed an emergency motion Thursday asking a federal judge to clarify that the administration cannot enforce the ban against fiancés or relatives not defined by the administration guidelines. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said