Trump’s re­vised ‘ex­treme vet­ting’ ban goes into ef­fect.

Crit­ics say vis­i­tors en­gaged to be mar­ried in U.S. left out

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN DINAN

Pres­i­dent Trump’s re­vived travel ban kicked into op­er­a­tion Thurs­day night, im­pos­ing a tough new screen on refugees from across the globe and on all vis­i­tors from six ma­jor­ity-Mus­lims coun­tries the White House says need “ex­treme vet­ting.”

Spouses and im­me­di­ate blood rel­a­tives — par­ents, chil­dren and sib­lings —of per­sons al­ready in the U.S. will still be al­lowed to come, as will those with busi­ness or school ties. But oth­ers, in­clud­ing friends, grand­par­ents and even those en­gaged to be mar­ried, can be blocked from en­ter­ing the U.S. un­der the pol­icy of­fi­cials de­tailed Thurs­day.

The screen is tighter than im­mi­grant rights groups were ex­pect­ing, and the first court chal­lenge was filed by Hawaii At­tor­ney Gen­eral Dou­glas S. Chin even as the new rules were tak­ing ef­fect.

“In Hawaii, ‘close fam­ily’ in­cludes many of the peo­ple that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment de­cided on its own to ex­clude from that def­i­ni­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, this se­verely lim­ited def­i­ni­tion may be in vi­o­la­tion of the Supreme Court rul­ing,” Mr. Chin said.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion says it is us­ing def­i­ni­tions based on ex­ist­ing im­mi­gra­tion law and on what it’s been able to glean from the Supreme Court rul­ing.

All sides agree that lower-court judges will have to grap­ple with the vague guid­ance given by the high court.

Hawaii’s lat­est chal­lenge will go to the same judge that ini­tially is­sued an ex­traor­di­nar­ily broad in­junc­tion of the travel ban — a rul­ing that was over­turned, in part, by two ap­peals courts.

For now, Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials vowed to make the new vet­ting as pain­less as pos­si­ble, hop­ing to avoid the kind of messy roll­out that plagued the pres­i­dent’s ini­tial ex­ec­u­tive or­der in Jan­uary.

“We’re go­ing to do so in as or­derly a fash­ion as we pos­si­bly can,” one se­nior of­fi­cial said as the ad­min­is­tra­tion briefed re­porters on the new rules.

Any­one al­ready awarded a visa will be al­lowed to come, sub­ject to the usual hur­dles and screen­ing. The is­suance of new visas, how­ever, will have an added check to en­sure some­one meets the “close re­la­tion­ship” stan­dard the Supreme Court laid out.

Refugees al­ready in the pipe­line through July 6 will also be ad­mit­ted, but the same “close re­la­tion­ship” screen will be ap­plied af­ter that, of­fi­cials said. They in­di­cated that more than half of refugees lack the fam­ily re­la­tion­ship that could guar­an­tee them en­try.

Lawyers and ac­tivists have al­ready said they would be at ports of en­try to pro­vide le­gal ad­vice or show sup­port for vis­i­tors.

Im­mi­grant rights groups had ar­gued that the Supreme Court’s rul­ing would leave al­most no­body on the out­side. They said nearly ev­ery po­ten­tial vis­i­tor to the U.S. al­ready has fam­ily or a busi­ness or school tie that draws them, and said ev­ery refugee al­ready in the pipe­line to be re­set­tled in the U.S. has a con­nec­tion to a re­set­tle­ment agency.

They ar­gued the only vis­i­tors who ap­peared to be banned were tourists.

Ad­vo­cates said the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s new rules drew the net too tightly by ex­clud­ing grand­par­ents and grand­chil­dren, as well as oth­ers.

“Those en­gaged to be mar­ried, for ex­am­ple, have been cru­elly left out,” said Karen Tum­lin, le­gal di­rec­tor at the Na­tional Im­mi­gra­tion Law Cen­ter. “This re­ported guid­ance should leave no doubt that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion will ex­ploit any op­por­tu­nity to ad­vance its xeno­pho­bic agenda.”

Omar Jad­wat, di­rec­tor of the im­mi­grants rights project at the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union, said the new pol­icy vi­o­lates what the Supreme Court had or­dered.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tighter re­stric­tions on U.S. travel from six ma­jor­i­tyMus­lim na­tions took ef­fect Thurs­day even­ing af­ter the Supreme Court gave its go-ahead for a lim­ited ver­sion of Pres­i­dent Trump’s plan.

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