OCT. 7, 2017

Trump Issues New Travel Ban with No Expiration Date

by HFC Staff

The Trump administration unveiled a new Travel Ban to go into effect on Oct. 18. New restrictions will be placed on certain foreigners from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. The new countries added to the new ban are Chad, Iran, North Korea, and Venezula.

In most instances, travel will be

broadly suspended, while in other cases, travelers will have to undergo enhanced screening and vetting requirements.

For instance, foreign nationals from North Korea are banned, but a student from Iran will be allowed in, subject to "enhanced screening and vetting requirements," according to the President's new proclamation.

A major point of contention in the original travel ban, in this new ban no current validly issued green cards, visas or travel documents will be revoked.

But unlike the earlier ban, which temporarily limited travel for 90 days, the new restrictions are indefinite and "conditioned based, not timed based," a senior administration official explained on a call with reporters.

The new order additionally provides consular officers with discretion to waive the new restrictions on a "case-by-case basis" if a foreign national demonstrates that denying entry into the US would cause "undue hardship" and he or she does not pose a threat to national security.

"Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet," President Donald Trump tweeted just after his administration released the details of the restrictions.

The White House called the new restrictions a "critical step toward establishing an immigration system that protects Americans' safety and security in an era of dangerous terrorism and transnational crime."

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke also issued a statement, saying President's proclamation will allow DHS "to better keep terrorists and criminals from entering our country."

"The restrictions announced are tough and tailored, and they send a message to foreign governments that they must work with us to enhance security," Duke said.

For the last three months, the administration used an executive order to ban foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US unless they have a "bona fide" relationship with a person or entity in the country. Those nations included Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan.

The President's latest order was met with swift criticism by the same groups that filed lawsuits earlier this year, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Six of President Trump's targeted countries are Muslim. The fact that Trump has added North Korea -- with few visitors to the US -- and a few government officials from Venezuela doesn't obfuscate the real fact that the administration's order is still a Muslim ban," said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU. "President Trump's original sin of targeting Muslims cannot be cured by throwing other countries onto his enemies list."

The US Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the legality of the travel ban next month.

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