Trump travel ban comes into effect for six countries

Protests against the ban continued right up to the moments before it came in including outside Los Angeles

REUTERS Protests against the ban continued right up to the moments before it came in including outside Los Angeles International Airport

Lawyers and human rights activists took up positions at major U.S. airports as a weakened version of President Donald Trump's travel ban took effect late on Thursday. Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, but the USA state department has stated that new applicants must have a relationship with either a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling who are already in the U.S. to be eligible for a visa.

Monday's Supreme Court ruling upheld the temporary ban, a key Trump policy.

Her grandmother immigrated from Iran to her family's home in Pittsburgh about 11 years ago and became a citizen after five years living in the U.S. This ban easily could have affected her.

The effect is that citizens of the affected countries with a close relative in the United States, such as a spouse, parent, child or sibling, will potentially be allowed in.

"[The ban] is still going to be applied on the ground by hundreds of individual officers, and they're going to have a lot of discretion in terms of what they decide this "bona fide relationship" involves", Akram says.

"People who are entering with already validly issued visas should have no problem entering at all", said immigration lawyer Talia Inlender.

Moments before the ban began at 20:00 Washington time (00:00 GMT), it emerged that the state of Hawaii had asked a federal judge for clarification.

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Omar Jadwat of the American Civil Liberties Union told the paper he believes the newly issued guidelines are troubling, as they could create arbitrary definitions of family relationships. Determining who must be exempted for having the "bona fide" connections mandated by the court has occupied officials from the department of homeland security, the state department and the justice department since the ruling was issued.

The airline noted flights were operating as normal under the new travel guidelines, and were reminding passengers they "must possess the appropriate travel documents, including a valid USA entry visa, in order to travel".

The Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision on the ban in October.

So those who have close relatives, such as spouses or parents, will be allowed in, but those with grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles or other extended family members will not be allowed. Travellers with business or professional ties in the U.S. also are exempted if they can show a relationship that is formal and documented, and not based on an intent to evade the ban.

Those who already hold valid visas are not affected.

Local 10 News reporter Sanela Sabovic spoke to travelers Thursday at Miami International Airport who are for and against the ban.

Advocacy groups, former U.S. officials who work on refugee issues, and NGOs that relocate them to the United States contend that the majority of refugees coming to the USA already have family ties and that the existing process of clearing them to live in the United States is extremely rigorous.

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