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Monday, 17 July 2017 18:10

The State Department loosens Muslim ban so it doesn’t apply to grandparents

Written by  Esther Yu Hsi Lee

Grandparents of U.S. citizens from six Muslim-majority countries facing travel restrictions to the United States may now obtain visas, according to a U.S. Department of State cable reviewed by Reuters.

The news indicates the State Department will comply with the latest court ruling on the Trump administration’s executive order preventing certain immigrants and refugees from obtaining visas to enter the country.

The latest change to Trump’s Muslim ban — which is amid a complicated court battle winding its way up to the Supreme Court — comes in a memo sent to U.S. diplomats overseas dated last Friday.

In the memo, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson writes that the United States cannot bar grandparents and other relatives of U.S. citizens, as Reuters reported. This is a reversal from the State Department’s previous interpretation of Trump’s ban, which relied on a very narrow definition of “close familial relationship” that did not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, parents and siblings-in-law from the countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

“Posts should therefore reconsider and readjudicate a visa application refused solely based on the E.O. in which the applicant contacts the consular section claiming to have a close family member that exempts them from the E.O. on the basis of the new guidance,” according to the cable that Reuters obtained.

Read more at ThinkProgress

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