Three years after it implemented its travel ban on selected countries, creating a controversy that ended up at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Trump Administration has expanded the travel ban to include six new countries: Nigeria, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar or Burma. The newly developed ban does provide exceptions for immigrants from these countries who have assisted the U.S. in various ways. These countries join the seven other countries that are part of the ban to varying degrees, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea. The country of Chad also was previously part of the travel ban but was removed last year after the Trump Administration acknowledged that the country had improved its security measures.
Unlike the original ban, the ban on traveling to the U.S. for natives of these countries is restricted to some members of specific classes of immigrants. For instance, while the travel ban applies to all immigrants from Burma, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Kyrgyzstan, it only applies to individuals using green card lottery visas from Sudan and Tanzania. Furthermore, the ban does not extend to students, tourists, and other temporary visitors.
The new travel ban went into effect on February 21, 2020. Based on 2018 data, a CNN report on the issue estimates that the newly extended ban will impact over 12,000 people.
Due to the new focus on African countries, some lawmakers and advocates have labeled extension of the ban as discriminatory and unjustified. Others pointed out the lack of national security justifications of the expanded ban are nonexistent.
The newly expanded travel ban has come into effect at the same time as travel bans related to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. Most currently, the U.S. has banned entry to all foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the last 14 days. This travel ban, however, has nothing to do with immigration status.
The immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the immigration cases of countless individuals and businesses facing immigration-related issues. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to get the outcome that you are seeking. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our immigration attorneys.