Who Is Affected by the New US Travel Ban? (July 2017 Update)
Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Iran are the countries at the heart of Trump’s new travel ban. Refugees looking to settle in the United States are also the focal point of the ban. Last Thursday, the US Supreme Court approved portions of the ban, which was a win for the Trump Administration. The new travel ban slightly differs from the initial travel ban that sparked tremendous controversy among those who disagreed with the actions taken by the administration in January of this year.
Changes Brought by the New Travel Ban
- Iraq is no longer included in the list of countries
- The administration eliminated the restriction of Syrian refugees
- The new travel ban allows permanent US residents and those who already have a valid US visa to enter the US without any issues.
The current controversy over the new travel ban concerns the Supreme Court’s use of the term, “bona fide relationship.” If a person from Iran applies for a visa and has a daughter who lives in the United States, for instance, that person will have no trouble entering the US. But, if a person from Iran applies for a visa and does not have a “bona fide relationship” with an individual or entity in the United States, that person will not be allowed to enter the US. The Supreme Court has left the government to determine the precise definition of “bona fide,” and so far, we know the following:
- Bona fide: mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, spouses, brothers, sisters, fiancées, fiancés, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, parents-in-law, and stepfamily relationships
- Not bona fide: grandmothers, grandfathers, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandsons, granddaughters, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law
The Supreme Court will review the specifics of the ban in the fall, but for now, the US will limit some people from the six countries in the list and refugees. Specifically, if a refugee does not have a bona fide relationship in the United States, that person will be banned for 120 days. The same goes for a person from one of the six countries involved in the new travel ban, but the restriction is limited to 90 days.
The criticism regarding Trump’s new travel ban includes disapproval over the government having the authority to decide what constitutes a bona fide relationship. Additionally, the fatal terrorist acts that have been committed in the United States since 2001 have not been linked to individuals from the countries listed in the ban. The travel ban would be more substantiated if the administration had proof that terrorism is directly coming from the six countries that are central to the ban, but they have not provided evidence supporting their restrictions.
What lies ahead may involve confusion at airports by security officials. People run the risk of being ill-informed, and consequently, may commit wrong actions that go against what the Supreme Court has laid out for the next few months. Immigration attorneys will be prepared to handle disputes that arise in airports throughout America as the nation enters a new situation in US immigration.
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Vitkovskaya, Julie. "Trump’s new travel ban requires you to prove a close relationship. Grandpas didn’t make the cut." The Washington Post. WP Company, 29 June 2017. Web. 06 July 2017.