Andy Semotiuk – Pace Immigration: President Donald Trump announced new restrictions on travel to the United States on September 24th, 2017. The new rules include broadening of the number of countries to be affected by his travel ban to include citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and some from Venezuela and will go into effect on October 18. The new ban is more targeted and involves more specific demands from each country included.
His previous ban on visitors from the six Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen expired Sunday, 90 days after Executive Order 13780 went into effect. It barred citizens who lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” from entering the U.S.
The new ban suspends all immigrant visas for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, and non-immigrant visas, such as for business and tourism, for nationals of Chad, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Yemen. What is more, under the new ban, citizens of Iran will not be eligible for tourism and business visas, but remain eligible for student and cultural exchange visas if they undergo additional scrutiny. Additional scrutiny will also be required for Somali citizens applying for all non-immigrant visas. Venezuela and North Korea appeared to be included as an attempt to block challenges from advocacy group attacks on previous bans as anti-Muslim.
Avoiding Legal Challenges
To avoid the chaos at airports across the country and the flurry of legal challenges the first travel ban encountered, officials indicated that they have been working for months on the new rules, in collaboration with various agencies and in conversation with foreign governments. Thus, valid visas would not be revoked as a result of the proclamation. The order also permits, but does not guarantee, case-by-case waivers for citizens of the affected countries who meet certain criteria.
Meanwhile, according to the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association, as part of the White House’s broader immigration work and formulation of policy, the following bills are being considered:
- H.R. 495: Protection of Children Act of 2017
- H.R. 391: Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act of 2017
- H.R. 2431: Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act
- H.R. 3711: Legal Workforce Act
- S.1720: Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act
This work is expected to lead to some sort of more comprehensive immigration proposals from the White House.
Chances Of Success
Previous attempts by the President to limit access to the USA by executive order have not met with great success and were the subject of many court challenges. In the case of his second travel ban, (modified and signed after the confusion generated by his first ban) that second ban was scheduled to be reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States October 10. The Court recently removed that hearing date from its schedule and could end up ducking the question in view of the new ban. The President’s previous travel bans were accused of being based on anti-Muslim sentiments and were called into question because none of the 9/11 terrorists were from the targeted countries.
The difference this time is a wider level of consultation with government departments and more thoughtful approach to the question of what limits should be imposed on new persons arriving from countries the White House believes harbor individuals who pose threats to American national security.