We complained on an earlier Countdown about the bizarre criteria assigned to exceptions from Donald Trump’s Muslim/refugee ban, which arbitrarily allowed some relatives of legal US residents to visit, but not others. People on Twitter started to use the hashtag #GrandmaBan to post pictures of their grandmothers to bring home the madness of pretending they were banned because of security concerns. Luckily, a federal judge in Hawaii also noticed how absurd the restrictions were, and cracked them to allow “grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States” to come visit. Yay Grandma! And refugees who have already been approved by a resettlement agency to come to the US will be excluded from the ban as well, as the judge also noted “an assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency…is a documented contract, it is binding, it triggers responsibilities and obligations.” The ban is still wrong, of course, and should be dropped altogether. But in the meantime, we’ll take the joy of families being able to see each other as a small victory to celebrate.


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