President Donald Trump signed an executive order on 27th January to temporarily ban people from 7 Muslim majorly countries. A number of protests were carried out after this decision. One week later, a federal judge in Seattle suspended the order nationwide and allowed the banned visitors to travel to the United States.
According to Trump, this executive order fulfills his promise of making America great. In case you still don’t know what this order is about, read further.
What does the order say?
- The US Refugee Admissions Programme will be suspended for 120 days.
- The Syrian refugees are banned (indefinitely).
- Anyone who arrives from the 7 Muslim majority countries i.e. Iran Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen is going to face 90-days visa suspension. Diplomats and the people from the UN are excluded from this suspension.
- Only 50,000 refugees will be accepted in 2017. Priority will be given to the religious monitories that are facing persecution in their home countries. There is room for exception on the basis of each case.
Countries that are affected by the ban
The following countries will not be issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa as per the orders:
The individuals who have dual nationality and are traveling from a non-restricted country will not be affected by the ban only if they are traveling on the passport from the other country.
Are people with Green Cards also on the travel-ban list?
Initially, as per the order, even the Green Card holders and Permanent Residents from these 7 countries were subjected to the same restrictions. This resulted in massive chaos and confusion.
The Department of Homeland Security, later on, issued a statement that said the Permanent Residents will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If they don’t pose a threat to the country, they will be allowed to enter the US.
Later on, Donald McGahn on 1st February issued a memo that stated the travel ban does not apply to permanent legal US residents.
Trump’s remarks on the order
According to Trump, the Refugee Programme was paused because the government needs time to come up with a stricter vetting system. The country does not want to issue visas to people who pose a threat to national security. He also stated that this is not a Muslim ban or a religion ban. It is just a ban on terrorism and it’s meant for keeping the country safe. There are over 40 different Muslim majority countries in the world which are not affected by this order.
These 7 countries were included in the order because as per Obama Administration and the Congress, they were the most watched countries when it comes to terrorism.
Contest of the Order
Dozens of lawsuits were filed and the order was even contested by the US court and eventually, the matter ended up in the Supreme Court.
On 3rd February, the order was suspended by the Seattle Federal Judge. An Attorney General in Washington State argued that this order violates a clause in the US constitution. Later, on 5th February, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected the request of immediate reinstatement of the executive order made by Trump Administration. On 9th February, the order for reinstatement was ruled again by the 3-judge panel after a series of arguments carried out by the Department of Justice, lawyers and Washington State.
There was a time in the past when entrants from specific regions and countries were banned in the United States. In 1965, the Immigrant & Nationally Act was passed that stated there will be no discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visa on the basis of race, nationality, sex, place of birth or place of residence of the individual. Since the order stated that all Syrians will be banned, it was enough to challenge it in court. Furthermore, as all of these were Muslim countries, here was another strong point to challenge the order.
There were several Trump supporters who cited the incident of 9/11 and Trump’s order as a measure for protecting the interest of the country. Some also said that US presidents are in the position of keeping the law a side by quoting the example of Jimmy Carter who banned certain Iranians during the hostage crisis in 1980.
Implementation of the Order
Initially, a Federal Judge suspended the deportation of refugees and visa holders temporarily. During this halt, more than hundred people were detained at the US airports. Many of the air passengers were not allowed to board on the US bound flights. The US citizens who were traveling to the banned countries were also detained at the airports for questioning.
What were the Remarks of the Critics?
Many critics said that the order directed targeted the Muslims as no refugees were convicted of terrorism or other related crimes before. When trump announced the plan, he cited the 9/11 attacks. Ironically, none of the hijackers responsible for the attacks were from the countries included in list of the travel ban. These individuals were from Lebanon, UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Furthermore, the people who were responsible for the recent terrorist attacks such as Boston Marathon bombing, or Orland nightclub shooting were either US nationals for citizens of the countries that weren’t a part of the travel ban to begin with.
Some people even said that Trump did not include those countries in the list which he had business interests with.
Here come the new restrictions
According to CNN Washington, the Trump Administration has released new travel restrictions on travelers from Syria, Yemen, Iran, Chad, North Korea, Somalia, Libya and Venezuela as a replacement to the central portion of the travel ban that he signed at the beginning of 2017. These restrictions vary country by country. President Trump right after the release of the details of the new restriction tweeted that making America safe is his first priority. Those countries will not be admitted in the US that are not safely vetted.
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