State AG disappointed as Sea-Tac prepares to enforce travel ban

Jun 27, 2017, 8:12 AM | Updated: 2:35 pm

Sea-Tac Airport will begin enforcing part of the Trump administration’s travel ban beginning Thursday.

The ban affects people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. If people from those countries don’t have a bona fide connection to someone in the United States they’ll likely be turned away.

Attorney Greg Lawson of Sound Immigration says the problem is the definition of “bona fide relationship.’

“What does that mean?” he asked. “That’s a legal standard that was invented this morning. You might have someone who has a sister here in the U.S is that a bona fide relationship? Probably. How about a cousin? I don’t know. How about two cousins? What about two cousins and a really good friend?”

A 120-day ban on refugees is also being allowed to take effect.

Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he’s disappointed the U.S. Supreme Court decided to let part of President Trump’s travel ban go into effect. But he says he’s encouraged the court will allow U.S. entry to those with a relationship with someone here.

Ferguson has been a staunch critic of the travel ban, successfully suing and blocking Trump’s first version of the travel ban.

“The Trump Administration has insisted from the start that this executive order is not reviewable by the courts. As I’ve repeatedly said, this is not the law and cannot be the law. By agreeing to review these challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court signaled today that it rejects the Administration’s argument,” Ferguson said.

“The high court left in place portions of the lower court injunctions that provide important protections for individuals connected to Washington’s families, schools, and businesses. Although I’m deeply disappointed that the injunctions were narrowed and the travel ban will partly go into effect, the protections that remain are significant.

“My legal team and I will continue fighting to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. If any Washingtonian, employer or university in the state thinks they have a relationship to someone who is being denied access to this country, please notify my office.”

In the meantime, dozens of lawyers say they’ll be at Sea-Tac Thursday to assist immigrants and refugees.

A previous version of this story suggested Ferguson is offering individuals, universities, and businesses affected by the ban assistance. He’s not. His office recommends people seek assistance with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

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State AG disappointed as Sea-Tac prepares to enforce travel ban