The following post is written by Wendy Stachowiak, VP Global Travel Partnerships, International SOS on behalf of the GBTA Risk Committee.
In early December, the Supreme Court ruled to allow the third version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to go into effect. This order enforces a policy against travelers entering the United States from mainly Muslim countries, including Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela. The restrictions for each country vary, but the majority is that citizens from these countries are unable to enter the United States permanently, including working, studying or vacations in the United States.
On December 22, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that President Trump’s travel ban violates the law, saying it “exceeds the scope of his delegated authority”. Despite the ruling, the fate of the travel ban ultimately lies in the hands of the Supreme Court.
The first order signed by President Trump in January was faced with many protests and legal challenges. A revised version was signed in March, making small changes like lifting the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. The third order was announced in late September and added North Korea and Venezuela. The Supreme Court allowed for the third order, overturning a temporary compromise that had been in place since June.
President Trump’s reasoning for the ban is that it is necessary for natural security, using examples of the recent terror attacks in Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Berlin. Many opponents have described this as a “Muslim ban”, calling it discriminatory and violating the “founding principles of this nation”.
The third version of the ban says that those eight specific countries were chosen because they “remain deficient at this time with respect to their identity-management and information-sharing capabilities, protocols, and practices. In some cases, these countries also have a significant terrorist presence within their territory”.
There will be states challenging this rule as there have been in the past. The Supreme Court’s order said the policy will take full effect despite the legal challenges ahead. If someone from any of the eight countries already have a visa or green card, they will be allowed to enter the United States, but those applying after the restrictions are in effect will face the stricter process.