If you’ve been out of touch with the news, you may not have heard
of Executive Order (EO) 13769, alternatively titled “Protecting
the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”
The mandate was signed by the current U.S. president on January 27th of this year. Given that it affects thousands of people in the United
States and abroad, there are a few essential facts you should know about
the travel ban.
What It Does
The order reduced the number of
refugees admitted into the United States to 50,000 this year, and indefinitely
suspended entry by Syrian refugees. It also suspended the U.S. Refugee
Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, after which individual countries
and persecuted minority religious groups would get priority under the
program. Perhaps most controversially of all, the EO banned entry of nationals
from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for
at least 90 days, including those with valid
Where It Stands
Currently, a nationwide temporary restraining order prevents any organizations
from acting on the ban. The state of Washington filed a legal challenge
against the EO, and on February 3, Judge James Robart of the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Washington issued a ruling that temporarily
blocked major parts of the ban. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit denied the current president’s petition to stay the restraining
order. The current administration has stated that another Executive Order
is in the works, one which, according to early drafts, continues to single
out the same 7 Muslim-majority countries as the original.
Who It Affects
Any citizens of the following countries will be directly affected by the ban:
While, initially, the ban affected the travel of people with legal visas,
since the EO has been challenged, those with valid permits should not
currently be affected. Those with dual citizenship would be affected if
they can’t present a valid passport from a non-banned country. One
of the most disturbing parts of this order is its exclusion of refugees
from a safe haven. Any refugees from Syria are barred altogether until
the EO is overturned, and refugees from un-banned countries must wait
120 days (about 4 months) before they may or may not be allowed entry
into the United States. About 4.1 million Syrians are seeking escape from
their war-torn country. Since 2011, the United States has resettled only
1,500 Syrian refugees. Compare that number to Canada, which has helped
more than 2,370 refugees since 2014, almost twice as many in half the
amount of time.
Why It’s Bad
Since the ban, around 60,000 visas were revoked, including immigrant and
non-immigrant visas. It also affected students from abroad and families whose members live
in those Muslim-majority countries. While some may believe the EO protects
the United States from terrorists, let’s look at the numbers:
- Before the ban, only 7.8% of terrorist attacks affected the United States.
- Since 9/11, white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics, and non-Muslim
extremists have killed almost twice as many people as radical Muslims.
- While 9/11 was the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history, the second-most
deadly was the attack by Timothy McVeigh, a white antigovernment fanatic
who perpetrated the Oklahoma City bombing (168 dead, 600 wounded).
Fear of attack is understandable, as self-preservation is one of the strongest
instincts we have as humans. However, overlooking the fact that not all
violent extremists are Muslims (and not all Muslims are violent extremists)
opens the United States up to attack from within, shows the country prioritizes
fear over compassion, and allows hatred to override the fact that insanity
is a worldwide epidemic.
If you think you or loved ones will be affected by the reinstated ban or
the new impending executive order, contact one of our experienced New
York City immigration law attorneys. We have helped people from many countries
in all walks of life. Call us at (888) 502-8461 or fill out our online
form for a free initial consultation.