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Hawaii goes to court to challenge family rules on Trump travel ban

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WASHINGTON — Hawaii on Thursday filed a court challenge to the Trump administration’s limitations on the family relationships people from six mostly Muslim countries need to claim to avoid a travel ban.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday exempted people from the ban if they can prove a “bone fide” relationship with a U.S. citizen or entity. The Trump administration had said the exemption would apply to citizens of Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the U.S.

The new Trump administration guidelines — sent to US embassies and consulates Wednesday and senior administration officials confirmed on a call with reporters Thursday — say applicants must prove their relationship to a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling in the US in order to enter the country.

Others — including grandparents and grandchildren — will not be considered “close family.”

This narrowly defined “bona fide” family relationship restriction could cause confusion Thursday evening when a revised version of the ban is reinstated across the US, some legal experts say.

Hawaii filed an emergency motion Thursday asking a federal judge to clarify that the administration cannot enforce the ban against fiancés or relatives not defined by the administration guidelines.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson did not immediately issue a ruling