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15 Things You Should Know About The US Travel Ban

15 Things You Should Know About The US Travel Ban


Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed for implementation an executive order for a United States (US) travel ban. Even with many protests on the streets that created chaos, the president of the US defended the travel ban and pushed through with it. Apparently, the ban he originally signed is the “extreme vetting” he promised during the campaign period. Still, it has caught many people by surprise, which is why many took it to the streets. Also, at that time, the president did not run the order by officials at the Justice Department and Homeland Security officials were not given enough guidance. Hence, it created more confusion especially in airports where many passengers and families were left in limbo.

Come March, a revised version of the executive order for the US travel ban was signed and released. It is the president’s second attempt to ban refugees and immigrants mostly coming from Muslim countries. Now, what is in this new US travel ban? How is it different from the first one that was signed and haphazardly implemented? Will it be more effective?

Let’s give you a rundown of the most important things you need to know about this new US travel ban.

15. New Travel Ban Took Effect On March 16


On January 27, President Trump issued an executive order that suspends admissions of refugees and bans travel from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen for 90 days. However, the execution was done poorly because of the lack of coordination among departments involved. With chaos all over, the ban was suspended. However, the president issued a new travel ban, which will take effect on March 16. Authorities are given 10 days to prepare for its implementation. Moreover, this will give citizens of affected countries time to apply for visas. This new US travel ban should not give “chaos… or alleged chaos in airports…” according to a homeland security official.

14. The New Executive Order Proves The White House’s Stand On This Legal Battle


On March 6, Trump signed a new travel ban, nearly a month after the federal appeals court declined to reinstate the first travel ban he issued. The original travel ban was blocked by many travelers, especially from the seven Muslim-majority countries on the list and refugees. The first travel ban was issued almost a week after the new president was inaugurated. However, this stirred confusion at the airports, which resulted in court battles. Many said it was rushed and completely discriminatory. However, with the new travel ban, the White House appears to be firm on its stand. They said that this executive order is essential to national security.

13. Latest Travel Ban Tries To Resolve Issues Of The First Travel Ban


The first travel ban rolled out in January was blocked and suspended due to several concerns including:

– The speed of release failed to give ample time for preparation.

– Judges said that there was “no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order” had committed a terrorist attack in the US.

– Exclusions of Syrians was problematic.

These reasons for blocking the first executive order were addressed such that they now gave 10 days for authorities to prepare and removed singling out of Syrian refugees. Still, there are some, like a judge from Maryland, who see the second travel ban “was likely to be considered a ban on Muslims and therefore unconstitutional.”

12. White House Will Keep Pushing For Travel Ban


The first travel ban executive order has been delayed by litigation, which resulted in this new travel ban. The president mentioned that he would take the case “as far as it needs to go,” including to the Supreme Court.

For instance, right now, an appeal against the Hawaii decision would be expected to go next to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – the same court where a panel of three judges decided in February not to block a ruling by a Seattle court to halt the original travel ban.

11. Second Travel Ban Is A “Watered-Down” Version


Due to many entities blocking the first travel ban, which led to its suspension, the president released a second travel ban. He said that he will fight for the case and if ever, he will still implement the original travel ban that he signed on January 27. While speaking on a rally in Nashville, he said that the second travel ban is a “watered-down” version of the original ban. They will keep pushing for the original executive order even if it reaches the Supreme Court.

10. Iraq Was Removed From The List Of Countries From Which Travelers Are Banned


The list on the new travel ban now leaves Libya, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. There will be a 90-day hold on issuing of visas in the aforementioned countries, a condition similar to the one in the executive order signed by Trump on January 27. 

In the original travel ban, Iraq was included but is now removed based on a description as a “special case” whose commitment to combat the Islamic State justifies it for “different treatment.” The country was removed from the list due to the “firm commitments” given about increased cooperation in providing information that will enhance the ability of the US to vet or screen Iraqi nationals, a Homeland Security official told the media.

9. Reasons Why Six Countries Remain On Travel Ban List


On the latest travel ban, the executive order states that each of the six countries is either considered a state sponsor of terrorism by the US or “has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations or contains active conflict zones.”

Moreover, the order details that this, “diminishes the foreign government’s willingness or ability to share or validate important information about individuals seeking to travel to the United States.”

However, critics note that major attacks on the US such as the 9/11 New York attacks, the Boston marathon bombing, and the Orlando nightclub attack were done by people from countries that are not on the list like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kyrgyzstan, or by US-born attackers.

8. Theoretically, Canadian Dual Citizens Are Not Affected


In theory, whether it is the first travel ban or the second, Canadian dual citizens should not have any problems traveling in and out of the US. However, the status of permanent residents who want to cross the border has become somewhat less clear. The federal government of Canada is reviewing the policy to understand how this will affect Canadian travelers. There is ample support anyway in case there are incidents or issues for Canadians traveling across the border. Government agencies and hotlines are in place for this to quickly address any issues.

7. Syrian Refugees Are No Longer Singled Out


The original travel ban executive order signed by Trump suspended the entire US refugee admissions system, which is already one of the most rigorous in the world, for 120 days. Moreover, that same ban suspended the Syrian refugee program indefinitely. This prompted a series of legal challenges, while thousands of Americans have protested outside airports and courthouses in solidarity with Muslims and migrants. Meanwhile, on the new travel ban, the “indefinite” suspension of the Syrian refugee program was lifted. Now, Syrian refugees will face the same 120-day temporary ban applicable to refugees from around the world. Refugees who have already been approved by the state department will be allowed to enter American soil.

6. When Suspension Is Lifted, Refugee Count Will Be Limited To 50,000


The new executive order states that when the suspension is lifted, they will apply a cap of 50,000 to refugees entering the US for the fiscal year 2017. It states that accepting more than that number would be “detrimental to the interests of the US.” Additional entries of refugees shall be determined later on based on national interest.

Former president Barack Obama has previously set a goal of allowing 110,000 refugees in 2017.

5. New Order Is Clearer For Dual Citizens


The first executive order created many days of confusion and anxiety, especially for affected individuals. Specifically, citizens of Canada, Australia, and other U.S. allies after the State Department and Homeland Security initially said dual citizens were affected too. It even came to a point that Canada asked for and got the assurance that its dual citizens could travel as usual. This time around, this is explicitly stated that “any dual national” of the banned countries are excluded “when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country.”

4. No Special Preferences Based On Religion


New travel ban does not suggest any special preferences about Christians facing religion-based persecution when applying as refugees. The first travel ban instructed the state department before to “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” That previous statement created an impression that the US is giving special preference to Christians. Hence, this led to the belief that the original travel ban was a “Muslim ban.”

3. Casting A Bigger Net


Banning foreigners from entering the US is only part of the travel ban signed by Trump. It still has broader restrictions mostly for prospective immigrants and refugees. For instance, the Homeland Security Chief John Kelly said that new orders broadened the kinds of immigrants, both undocumented and legal, to be considered as priority targets for deportation. Moreover, law enforcement agencies were given more power to use “expedited removals,” deportations without hearings in an immigration court. Trump orders allowed increased of up to 10,000 immigration agents and 5,000 border guards.

2. Waivers Can Be Given On A Case-By-Case Basis


The travel ban executive order still allows granting of waivers on a case-by-case basis. Main reason to grant a waiver is if it would “cause undue hardship’ such as for:

– People employed by the US government.

– People needing urgent medical care.

– People previously admitted to the US for work or study whose activities would be “impaired.”

– People seeking to live with or visit relatives who are US citizens or permanent residents.

1. Existing Green Cards And Valid Visas Will Be Honored


People traveling from the six countries on the list and refugees with existing green cards and valid visas will not be affected by the new travel ban. On a statement from the White House, it read, “no visas will be revoked solely based on this executive order.”

The original travel ban lacked clarity on existing green cards and valid visas before, which led to confusion and chaos in airports. It also resulted to about 60,000 visas being revoked. The 90-day period applies only to travelers from the six countries on the list who are seeking new US visas.


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