New York Post

A ‘grand’ opening in travel orders


Grandparen­ts of American citizens from six Muslim-majority nations who had been banned from coming to the United States under President Trump’s travel ban have gotten the green light to book their flights.

The State Department sent a memo to US diplomatic posts overseas reflecting a federal court ruling last week modifying the ban.

US District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu found the government cannot bar grandparen­ts and other relatives of US citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from getting visas under the ban.

Watson declined to put his ruling on hold pending appeal, meaning it went into effect immediatel­y.

The administra­tion has asked the Supreme Court and the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to block the decision.

The July 14 State Department cable updated the definition of “close family” exempt from the temporary travel ban in Trump’s March 6 executive order.

The State Department memo stated that “grandparen­ts, grandchild­ren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, and cousins” are eligible for visas.

Between March 10 and March 17, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued four cables, originally giving instructio­ns on implementi­ng the travel ban, then rescinding much of his guidance because of court rulings and because it had been issued without approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

In another reversal, the State Department had originally interprete­d the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling to exclude fiancés, saying that brides- and grooms-to-be do not count as a close family relationsh­ip eligible for an exemption to the ban.

Just before the 90-day travel ban was to take effect on June 29, the State Department said fiancés would be counted as close family.

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