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Hawaii Files New Court Challenge To Trump Travel Order As It Takes Effect

U.S. President Donald Trump signing his executive order on travel

The U.S. state of Hawaii filed a new court challenge to the Trump administration's travel order barring visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries minutes before it went into effect on June 29.

The latest challenge questions the strict limits the administration is imposing on people claiming an exemption to the ban because they have relatives who are American citizens.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week exempted people from the visa ban if they can prove they have a "bone fide" relationship with a U.S. citizen or organization.

But the U.S. State Department issued guidance on June 28 saying only "close" family members such as parents, sisters, or children qualify an applicant for the exemption. The guidance said applicants with American fiances, grandparents, grandchildren, and cousins do not qualify.

Possibly because of looming court challenges, the administration late on June 29 amended the guidance to allow people with American fiances to obtain visas.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin argued many of the relatives that the federal government excluded are considered "close family" in Hawaii, asked the U.S. Justice Department to respond to Hawaii's motion by July 3.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who was one of several U.S. judges who previously blocked the Trump travel order, did not immediately respond to Hawaii's motion.

The travel order affects people from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, and Libya who have not already obtained valid visas.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters