In Travel on Sunday 2nd Jul, 2017

Grandparents not deemed close family under new travel rule

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The new US travel ban has officially gone into effect, barring people from Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia to get visas for 90 days, as well as blocking refugees from any nation for 120 days.

There are exceptions to the ban, which has left some people scratching their heads about how the US State Department has defined “close family”.

If you’re a grandparent and consider yourself close family to your grandchildren, the State Department may argue otherwise.

People from the aforementioned countries are allowed to travel to the US if they have a “close familial relationship” with someone in the United States.

The State Department defines close family as a parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law and sibling, whether whole or half, including step relationships.

Close family, according to the State Department, “does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, fiancés and other ‘extended’ family members”.

People have taken to twitter to comment on the travel ban, with mixed opinions.

One user posted, “Trump’s #TravelBan blocks people’s grandparents from entering the US — as if grandmas are a terror threat!”

Another said, “Trump’s bigoted #MuslimBan, in its current configuration, is an absurdity wrapped in nonsense in a box of stupid. Enough already. #TravelBan.”

“Intriguing, considering that in Trump’s America grandparents aren’t bona fide close family … at least according to his travel ban,” another user said.

Others commented that it was another good policy to “make America great again”.

Usually vocal on Twitter about his policies, Trump hasn’t tweeted about the travel ban yet, which some are saying is an intentional distraction from the issue.

“Trump’s tweets are aimed to manipulate, distract from travel ban, health,” one person tweeted.

Hawaii has filed a court challenge to the definition of a close US relationship to extend the definition to include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and so on.

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