- Associated Press - Friday, June 30, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - The scaled-back version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban has illogical standards for who should be prohibited from entering the country, Hawaii’s attorney general said Friday.

Doug Chin raised questions about why a stepbrother or stepsister should be allowed into the country but not a grandmother.

“What does the U.S. government have against grandmothers?” Chin asked. “Why is it that those people not allowed to come into the country? What national security initiative are we thinking about?”

He spoke days after the Trump administration, acting after the Supreme Court partially restored Trump’s travel ban executive order, set new criteria barring entry to the U.S. for some citizens from six majority-Muslim countries.

Under the temporary rules, citizens of Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen who already have visas will be allowed to enter. But people from those countries who want new visas will now have to prove a close family relationship or an existing relationship with an entity like a school or business in the U.S.

The State Department said the personal relationships would include a parent, spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States. It does not include other relationships such as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts and uncles.

Chin on Thursday filed an emergency motion asking a federal judge to rule the administration may not enforce the ban against relatives like grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Hakim Ouansafi, the president of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, said the new version of the travel ban would still affect families even though it is more limited than the initial plan by Trump’s administration. “Now we have to struggle with explaining to our children that grandpa and grandma are not considered close family members,” Ouansafi said.

The ban was “vindictive in its inception and it continues to be,” he said. “It seems that this policy is no longer about securing our country when you say to an 80-year-old grandpa you cannot come in.”

Hawaii in February sued to stop Trump’s initial executive order banning people from majority-Muslim countries, saying the policy separates Hawaii’s families and degrades values Hawaii has worked hard to protect.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week said it would hear full arguments on the case in October.

Until then, it allowed the ban to be enforced if visitors lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

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