Trump’s Travel Ban Plans: What You Need to Know
One of President Donald Trump’s first orders of business when he took office was to introduce a sweeping and widely-criticized travel ban that affected mainly Muslim countries and was determined by many to be unconstitutional. In response, the administration released a revised travel ban in March of 2017 and a third iteration of the ban in September.
The September ban, which went into effect in October and has already been challenged by numerous courts, affects certain foreigners from Chad, Iran, Libra, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. The ban affects these countries in different ways.
North Korea and Syria Entry as immigrants and non immigrants is suspended.
Chad, Yemen, and Libya Entry as immigrants and non immigrants is suspected and some business and tourist visas are suspended.
Somalia Entry as immigrants is suspended and non immigrants traveling to the US are subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements
Iran Entry as immigrants is suspended and non immigrants traveling to the US are subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements except under valid student and exchange visas
Venezuela Entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate families is restricted.
How is This Different from the Previous Ban?
Trump’s initial plan was widely criticized for being anti-Muslim as it affected six Muslim-majority countries. Though the new plan has included the non-Muslim North Korea and Venezuela, critics believe these were just thrown in to cloud the issue and that the new ban is still Muslim-based. While the first ban was temporary and limited to 90 days, the new ban has no time limit and is condition-based.
What Does This Mean for the United States?
Though no currently validly issued green cards, visas, or travel documents will be revoked under the new plan, the ban has wide-reaching implications for our country.
The administration stresses that the new plan will help secure our borders and prompt other governments who do not have strong screening methods to up their game. However, critics say the ban is targeting those with certain religious beliefs and subjecting billions of peaceful people to rules based on a few violent and fanatical members of their countries.
The travel ban already has many Muslims questioning their plans to travel to the United States for business or pleasure. Even those who can legally enter the country will likely see our country as becoming increasingly hostile to Muslims and choose other countries to visit or do business with.
This could have enormous costs for our economy. It’s estimated that 4.5 million Muslims travel on an annual basis and their spending will reach $13 billion by the year 2020. If we do not welcome those visitors, another country will.
More importantly, judges say that a nationality-based travel ban such as this that targets eight nations and over 150 million people is unprecedented and could lead to further disturbing developments. Due to Trump’s statements since taking office regarding Muslims, critics believe the travel ban is tainted by religious animosity and is dangerously close to violating the constitution, which prohibits a government-established religion.
The ban, which is widely criticized by refugee organizations, citizens of the countries listed on the ban, and by United States citizens alike, could spark even more turmoil in a country already torn along party lines. Demonstrations are likely to increase and more terrorist attacks could even result from the ban. Instead of being known as a safe haven for those looking for a better life, the United States could be increasingly known as hostile to outsiders.
Though challenged in numerous courts throughout the nation, Trump’s travel ban is already in effect and creating ripples in the nation that could easily turn into a tidal wave of resentment and possible violence.