Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Dark History of Defining ‘Family’

…[E]fforts to define and manipulate the definition of “family” in immigration matters are not new. For more than 100 years the government has done so, often reflecting political exigency and racial bias rather than the real needs and desires of families.

By Mae Ngai, New York Times
July 19, 2017
The Trump administration lost another round on Wednesday in its continuing legal battle over its travel ban against people from six majority-Muslim countries and all refugees. The Supreme Court let stand — pending full review of the ban in October — a Federal District Court ruling in Hawaii that included grandparents and other close relatives of those in the United States within the scope of exemptions to the ban.

Last month, the Supreme Court authorized the administration to implement the ban but instructed the government to exempt people with “bona fide” relationships to relatives and institutions (like employers and universities) in the United States. The State Department issued guidelines that narrowly defined those family relations as spouses, parents and parents-in-law, children and siblings. It excluded grandparents, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, and brothers- and sisters-in-law. It also excluded all refugees.[…]

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Photo: James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

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