On July 13, 2017, a Federal District Court in Hawaii ruled that the Government’s definition of “close familial relationship” contradicted the definition that the Supreme Court provided in its ruling on June 26, 2017. A short timeline of recent developments is as follows:
- On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States lifted parts of the temporary injunction barring the Trump Administration from blocking the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen or for certain refugees.
- On June 29, 2017, the Trump Administration implemented the portions permitted by the Supreme Court’s decision. On that date, the Department of Homeland Security issued a website update consisting of an FAQ which stated, in part:
The Supreme Court explained, “For individuals, a close familial relationship is required. . . .” A “close family” relationship includes: a parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, fiancé(e), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and sibling, whether whole or half. This includes step relationships. However, “close family” does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and any other “extended” family members.
The Federal District Court in Hawaii expanded the narrow definition used by the Department of Homeland Security and ruled that “grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States” meet the definition of “close family relationship”.
On July 14, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice appealed this ruling. Updates as they occur can continue to be found on our news page: http://www.jackson-hertogs.com/news-2/