On Thursday night, the US partly restored the so-called Muslim travel ban against citizens from Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan, which imposes a 90-day ban on citizens from these countries and 120 days for refugees.
Legally permanent residents, current visa holders, visa applicants who were in the US as of June 26, dual nationals, anyone that has been granted asylum, refugees who have already been admitted to the US and foreign nationals with “close” family, educational or business ties to the US will be exempt from the ban. However, refugees currently awaiting approval for admission to the country will be banned.
The new executive order considers “close” family to be a spouse, child, son or daughter of age, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and siblings. However, it excludes fiancées, grandparents and grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, which had until now been considered “close” family.
The Supreme Court garnered the green light to the Trump administration to reinstate part of the travel ban on Monday and said that it would make a final ruling on the executive order in October.
The first Muslim travel ban had been halted in the lower court for months after it caused massive protests and chaos at all international airports across the entire country, which resulted in the illegal retention of thousands of US legal residents who were born in any of the aforementioned banned countries.
Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell University said the wording of the decision left the upholders of this law plenty of room for interpretation in terms of enforcement.
“How individuals will prove such a [bona fide] relationship, and whether the burden of proof will be on the government or the individuals seeking entry, remains to be seen,” Yale-Loehr said. “I predict chaos at the border and new lawsuits, as foreign nationals and refugees argue that they are entitled to enter the United States.”
The prediction of more discord at airports was mirrored by Amnesty International USA executive director Margaret Huang.
“Rather than keeping anyone safe,” Huang said, “this ban demonizes millions of innocent people and creates anxiety and instability for people who want to visit a relative, work, study, return to the country they call home, or just travel without fear.”
Several experts have suggested that the fact that those people who have been working with the US in its secret operations in the fight against ISIL will also be banned is very worrisome. And it also endangers their lives.
Furthermore, a travel ban which will not allow grandparents to meet their grandchildren in the US will be catastrophic for many families. However, the worst part of it will be for those refugees who are trying to flee from certain death in their countries to the US. They will now have to face threats, torture, abuse, and death.
Most of the population of the US opposes to what they think it is an unfair Muslim travel ban, which will cause suffering to thousands of families, and which could backfire in the form of terrorism.
Although it is still too soon to know the real impact of the new travel ban on people’s lives, numerous human rights organizations think that this one will be more chaotic than the previous one.
Awaiting the final decision of the Supreme Court in October, human rights organizations and NGO’s will keep fighting against every Muslim travel ban in order to guarantee people’s human rights.