When the Supreme Court approved a modified version of President Trump's much-challenged travel ban last week, it provided the order could not be used to exclude visitors from the affected Muslim-majority countries if they have "bona fide relationships" with people already in the United States. Now at issue is what counts as "bona fide relationships," a category SCOTUS did not specifically define and which the White House says does not include grandparents, aunts, and uncles of American citizens and residents.
The Department of Justice was in court Monday fighting to maintain that delineation, arguing the SCOTUS ruling should not be interpreted to allow "the broader, free-hand rules" of letting in grandparents. Pointing to established immigration law, the DOJ says close family relations that meet the Supreme Court's exemption are limited to "parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, fiancé, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling (whether whole or half), and step relationships." Not on the list: grandparents.
How that definition will fare in court remains to be seen, but in the meantime, it is under fire on social media.
A #GrandparentsNotTerrorists hashtag sees U.S. residents with family ties in the six banned countries posting photos of their unthreatening grandparents in a plea for change.