Expiring Trump Travel Ban Replaced by Indefinite Restrictions on 8 Countries

Sep 25, 2017

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Earlier this year the travel world was thrown into chaos when, without warning, President Donald Trump issued an executive order temporarily prohibiting nationals of seven different countries from entering the United States, regardless of whether they had existing visas or not. That travel ban was eventually halted by the courts, and soon after the Administration issued a revised order to comply with the objections that had been raised.

While that revised ban has also been challenged and the US Supreme Court has not yet heard the case on its merits, in the interim the Court allowed the ban to take effect with some exceptions. Both the original order and the revised order contained 90-day temporary timeframes, which meant after the various court challenges, the revised order was scheduled to expire on Sunday.

However, on Sunday night, the President issued a new proclamation extending the immigration restrictions indefinitely, but on a revised set of eight countries — Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. The new list removes Sudan from the previous group of six countries and adds Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. Additionally, the proclamation provides that nationals of Iraq will face heightened scrutiny, though it states that “entry restrictions and limitations under a Presidential proclamation are not warranted.”

According to officials who spoke to The New York Times, the new order is designed to be more targeted than the original ban, as each country on the list will have a specific set of travel restrictions — one such example given by officials to the Times are student exchanges from Iran. However, the net effect is expected to be the same for most citizens of the affected countries, who will be unable to travel to the United States unless they hold an already issued visa.

Under the previous ban and Supreme Court ruling, nationals of the affected countries who could show a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” were able to apply for a waiver of the immigration restrictions. However, the new proclamation states that, as of the effective date of October 18, the restrictions and limitations include even those with a bona fide relationship. Based on this language, CNN is reporting that the bona fide exception remains in place for now, but will disappear as of October 18.

The US Supreme Court had been scheduled to hear oral arguments on the validity of the ban on October 10, but on Monday it cancelled that hearing and instead requested the parties to the case to provide briefs addressing if the new proclamation meant the case and questions posed by it were no longer germane. If the Court dismisses the case as moot, the plaintiffs could still decide to challenge the newly issued restrictions in a new and separate action.

This post has been updated to reflect the Supreme Court’s actions on Monday afternoon.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

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