The Trump Administration’s initial travel ban has been securely in place for some time, which has led some Americans to challenge the blanket ban in court to bring their family members to the U.S. Although American citizens can request a waiver to the travel ban for family members, the federal court process of obtaining waiver is lengthy and fraught with unpredictability. Only a fraction of those potentially eligible for an exemption have sought relief in court. Many individuals are unaware of their right to request a waiver or do not have the funds needed to fight the necessary court battle.
From December 2017 to October 2019, the Associated Press reports that over 28,000 visa applications have been filed by people seeking waivers. Of that total, the government granted 11,325 waivers and denied 16,775 waivers. The waiver application process also is quite lengthy. Although the State Department has reportedly decreased processing times in recent months, many older applications are still pending in this highly bureaucratic system. In one case, the State Department granted a waiver for one child in a family, but not for the other child, which has resulted in protected family separations. The family ultimately sued to get a waiver for their daughter and eventually succeeded, but not before several months of separation already has occurred.
The recent expansion of the Trump Administration’s travel ban to include more countries undoubtedly will result in an increased number of waiver applications and increased processing times. As a result, families may have no choice but to turn to the federal court system for relief. Nonetheless, a lack of awareness about their options and a lack of funds could cause some families to remain indefinitely separated.
The immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are seeking any relief or benefit under federal immigration laws. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. We intend to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you through this complicated situation.