Justice Department Denies Hawaii’s Request for Clarity on Travel Ban

The Justice Department asked a federal judge in Hawaii to deny the state’s request for clarification on President Donald Trump’s travel ban Monday, saying any order limiting the scope of the travel restrictions should be considered by the Supreme Court, The Hill reports.

Hawaii is challenging the administration’s enforcement of the ban, which finally went into effect on Thursday after being bogged down by legal challenges for months.

Visa applicants from specific countries must now prove a “bona fide” familial relationship to be accepted, and Hawaii argues that the White House interpreted the definition of close family members too narrowly.

In a filing Monday responding to Hawaii’s challenge, the administration said its definition of “close family member” is consistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act, Bloomberg reports.

“Even some familial relationships” won’t help visa applicants and refugees because of limits set by the INA that “privileges certain family relationships over others,” the government filing noted.

“Plaintiffs attempt to create a dispute where there is none,” the Justice Department’s brief says, according to Bloomberg.

The Supreme Court decided to allow the executive order to take effect starting Thursday for all refugees and travelers from six majority-Muslim countries that do not have a close connection to a person or entity in the United States.

Trump’s order, which was revised from an initial version and signed in March, halts travel for nationals from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days and suspends all refugees from entering the country for 120 days.

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