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President Trump Tries Again: The New Travel Ban

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On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a proclamation outlining a new, revised travel ban. The most recent attempt bears the title “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States By Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats.” Unlike the original travel ban issued just after the inauguration or Travel Ban 2.0 from March 2017, the new travel ban is intended to be permanent.

In an attempt to avoid judicial rejection and public condemnation of the travel ban, the latest version was preceded by an assessment of countries whose citizens could pose a threat to national security or public safety. On the basis of that assessment, the Administration concluded that the following countries have been “deemed to have inadequate identity management protocols, information sharing practices” and present other risk factors. The affected countries are: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Although Iraq was also on the list, it will be treated separately under the travel ban.

In order to reduce the appearance of religious discrimination against Muslims and to anticipate charges of “profiling”, each of the eight countries will be subject to specific travel restrictions. For example, citizens of Chad, Libya and Yemen are barred from entering the U.S. as immigrants or as visitors; citizens of North Korea and Syria are barred from entering the U.S. as immigrants or as non-immigrants; certain Venezuelan government officials and their family members are prohibited from entering the U.S. as visitors; citizens of Somalia are barred from entering as immigrants; but may be admitted as non-immigrants following “enhanced screening.”

For the nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen who do not have a bona fide relationship to a U.S. citizen or U.S. based business, school, or religious entity, the restrictions take affect immediately. As of October 18, 2017 the restrictions will apply to all nationals of these eight countries even if they have a bona fide relationship to a U.S. citizen or U.S. based business, school, or religious entity.

The new travel ban includes procedures for exemptions and waivers, mostly for individuals with special, unique or compelling circumstances or those with close ties to U.S. citizens parents, children and spouses. For additional information on the latest travel ban, click here.

The new travel ban will also most certainly be subject to challenges in the U.S. courts and criticism in the U.S. and abroad. Critics will question the extent to which such a ban actually protects Americans from threats to national security and public safety. Proponents will argue that it is better to have an over-extensive ban, than to subject America to risk.

For additional information on how the travel ban may impact you and your family, contact us.

 

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