The infamous travel ban, first introduced in January and blocked, then reissued again in March and also blocked, has meandered its way through the court system and is finally being implemented at 8pm ET, albeit watered down. For those that don’t already know, the “travel ban” stops anyone (with exceptions) without a “credible claim of bona fide relationship” based on the following criteria:
- 90 days if you are from Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen or Sudan
- 190 days if you are a refugee from any country
The new guidelines sent to U.S. embassies and consulates on Wednesday say that applicants must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already inside the United States to enter the country. Extended family is not considered close family under the executive order and therefore, those with grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc. are out of luck. As the exact guidelines have not been posted by the State Department or Department of Homeland Security, they can and most likely will change.
What’s included this time are the categories of travelers who are excluded from the executive order:
- US citizens
- Legal permanent residents (aka green card holders)
- Current visa holders
- Any visa applicant who was in the US as of June 26
- Dual nationals
- Anyone granted asylum
- Any refugee already admitted to the US
- Foreign nationals with “bona fide” family, educational or business ties to the US
Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked either.
There has been serious debate since January as to the original intent behind the executive order. Trump focused on seven nations, then reduced it to six removing Iraq in his March reissue. That reissue is the order going into effect shortly. The text of the order states that additional scrutiny is required for travelers from the six identified nations. Essentially the exclusions above do not immediately grant you entry to the United States if you’re a resident or coming from one of the six identified nations.
The conditions in these [six] countries present heightened threats. Each of these countries is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones.
While Trump, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are quick to point out this is not a Muslim ban, it sure is a Mt. Everest-sized irony that these six countries are predominantly Muslim. This execution of this executive order can go all sorts of sideways and quickly, but at least we know Trump will attack anything negative as “fake news” and anything positive as “his idea.”
The original question from January is still unanswered: Why is Saudi Arabia not on the list?