Press Release: Franciscan Action Network Applauds Expanded "Bona Fide Relationship" Decision

July 14, 2017
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Janine Walsh
Communications Coordinator
Franciscan Action Network

Franciscan Action Network Applauds Expanded "Bona Fide Relationship" Decision

Washington, D.C. - Franciscan Action Network (FAN), while not a refugee resettlement agency, has opposed the travel ban against predominantly Muslim countries and advocated on behalf of refugees from those six countries. FAN applauds the June 13 decision by a federal judge to expand the interpretation of "bona fide relationships" to include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. This broadened definition clarifies that a refugee's relationship with a resettlement agency exempts them from the travel ban.

"We have been very concerned about the narrow definition of family member for a refugee's documented relationship, and puzzled why a grandparent or grandchild or cousin would not be considered a family member," said Sr. Marie Lucey, FAN Associate Director. "We welcome this decision by a federal judge which expands the definition of a "bona fide relationship" of a refugee to include those family relationships that we take for granted in this country. Now we call on the Administration to implement this decision which alters their interpretation."

One of FAN's partners, Church World Service, is one of nine resettlement agencies in the United States and offers refugee program and policy experts to be interviewed by the media. For interviews, please contact


Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights. For more information: