Trump’s Travel Ban

In a Proclamation dated January 31, 2020, the Administration added the following countries to the travel ban – Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Myanmar, Eritrea and Kyrgyzstan effective February 22, 2020.

History of the Travel Ban

Early in 2017, President Trump issued a travel ban (TB) on individuals from Middle Eastern countries. The first travel ban temporarily barring 7 predominately Muslim countries from entering the US was quickly blocked by a Federal Judge in Seattle. Trump appealed the decision, but the judge’s order was upheld.

This led to Trump’s 2nd travel ban, which is a revised version of the first. The original executive order applied to current visa holders from the 7 countries, but the revised version only applied to those who had not yet been issued a visa. It only applied to 6 countries, taking Iraq off the list. The ban on Syrian refugees was no longer permanent and Christians were not given preference in being granted refugee status.

Although the 2nd travel ban was struck down by the US Courts of Appeals in both the 4th and the 9th Circuits on June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court reinstated parts on the travel ban and agreed to hear the government’s appeals of the lower courts decisions.

On September 24, 2017, less than 3 weeks before the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments regarding his 2nd TB, President Trump issued his 3rd travel ban. On December 3, 2017, the Supreme Court allowed it to go into effect on a temporary basis. The Supreme Court approved Travel Ban 3.0 on June 26, 2018.

Below is a chart prepared by the US State Department which identifies who is affected by Travel Ban 3.0:

       Country Nonimmigrant Visas  Immigrant and Diversity
Iran No nonimmigrant visas except F, J and M visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Libya No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas No immigrant or diversity visas
No nonimmigrant visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Syria No nonimmigrant visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Venezuela No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas of any kind for officials of the following government agencies Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members. No restrictions
Yemen No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Somalia No immigrant or diversity visas

Trump’s 3rd Travel Ban

travel ban On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a 15-page order which initially restricted immigration from the following 7 countries: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea. In addition, Iraqi citizens and government officials and their families from Venezuela will face certain travel restrictions and/or heightened scrutiny when attempting to enter the United States. The travel ban became effective on October 18, 2017.

The Executive Order which implemented Travel Ban 3.0 provides that the State Department and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can issue waivers to persons from the affected countries who apply for a visa to come to the US, but only if they meet each of the following criteria:

  1. Denying entry would cause the applicant undue hardship;
  2. Entry would not pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
  3. Entry would be in the U.S. national interest.

To date, waivers have been granted to less than 2% of all visa applicants from the banned countries.

Trump’s 2nd Travel Ban

Trump’s 1st Travel Ban

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