Ac­tivists push back on travel ban’s def­i­ni­tion of ‘close re­la­tion­ship’

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY KIM KOZLOWSKI The Detroit News

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

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