Federal judge partially lifts Trump refugee ban after Jewish groups’ challenge


(JTA) — A federal judge in Seattle has partially lifted the latest Trump administration ban on refugees.

U.S. District Judge James Robart of the federal court in Seattle on Saturday ruled that the federal government must process refugee applications for people “with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity within the United States.”

The new set of restrictions on refugees include a minimum 90-day suspension of admission of refugees from 11 countries, nine of which are predominantly Muslim, and a suspension of the so-called follow-to-join process, which reunites family members with refugees already in the United States.

The ruling to allow the reuniting of refugees with family members in the United States was in response to two challenges heard in court on Thursday. One of the challenges – Jewish Family Service v. Trump, was brought by HIAS, the Jewish immigration advocacy group, on behalf of its partners, Jewish Family Service of Seattle and Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley. The second case was ACLU of WA v. Trump.

“We are thrilled that families will have the chance to be reunited and refugees who have suffered so much will have the chance to make it to safety. As we celebrate this moment, we remember our ancestors who did not have anyone standing with them or for them,” Rabbi Will Berkovitz, Jewish Family Service of Seattle CEO, said in a statement.

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