Commentary,  Protecting & Nurturing Children & Youth,  Strengthening Families and Resolving Crises

In Honor of 4th of July Family Picnics & BBQ’s

One aspect of the administration’s executive order on the travel ban against nationals from certain countries merits special 4th of July attention, viz. what is a bona fide family relationship?

After the recent Supreme Court decision[1], the administration issued guidelines that interpreted a bona fide (real) family relationship to include parents, children and siblings. They left out grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts and cousins. They also initially excluded fiancées, but then subsequently included them. By that action alone, the administration demonstrated that there is discretion in the interpretation of a bona fide family relationship.

So, in light of all the family picnics and BBQ’s during this recent great 4th of July American holiday, let’s make an additional discretionary correction and recognize that the grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts and cousins who shared a hotdog, soda or beer and watched fireworks together have a bona fide family relationship with each other.   I don’t think it’s much of a stretch. I’m betting we’d be stronger and safer as a nation if we did so.

[1] At the end of its recently concluded term the Supreme Court recently overturned lower court decisions that prohibited the implementation of these travel bans and partially allowed them to go into effect pending its hearing of the case next term. It was partial because the Supreme Court decision excluded from the ban those with a “bona fide” relationship with a person or entity.  


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