Source: Associated Press
By ALICIA A. CALDWELL and ELLIOT SPAGAT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is seeking to close a legal window opened for tens of thousands of refugees to enter the United States, appealing a federal judge’s order directly to the Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson had ordered the government to allow in refugees formally working with a resettlement agency in the United States. His order also vastly expanded the list of U.S. family relationships that refugees and visitors from six Muslim-majority countries can use to get into the country, including grandparents and grandchildren.
In its appeal Friday night, the Justice Department said Watson’s interpretation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on what family relationships qualify refugees and visitors from the six Muslim-majority countries to enter the U.S. “empties the court’s decision of meaning, as it encompasses not just ‘close’ family members, but virtually all family members. Treating all of these relationships as ‘close familial relationship(s)’ reads the term ‘close’ out of the Court’s decision.”
Only the Supreme Court can decide these issues surrounding the travel ban, the Justice Department said. “Only this Court can definitively settle whether the government’s reasonable implementation is consistent with this Court’s stay,” it said.