Trump’s Travel Ban

Legal action by lower courts prevented implementation of Trump’s travel ban.  They like to refer it as a travel ban rather than a Muslim ban.

The US Supreme Court has not completed its review, however has allowed the ban to be implemented for visa applicants  from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who do not have a “bona fide” relationship to  persons and entity  in the US.   As it stands, visa applicants from these countries will need to show this relationship to be able to travel.

So, it’s likely that immigration lawyers and travel agents  are doing a great business, helping visa applicants  find the necessary contacts within the US, including relatives and  educational programs, to satisfy the  “bona-fide” relationship.  I suspect the first time travelers from these countries applying for tourist visas will have the most difficulties.

Many visitors applying for tourist visas from outside of the US are rejected on the basis that they have not provided sufficient evidence that they will return after their visa expires.   Generally, if they have long employment history and own their home, this improves their chance of acceptance.

Trump’s ban will apply to refugees  from these countries.   There are many refugees from Syria, Yemen and Libya who have no place to go back to.   The Diversity Visa Lottery winners, will have an extremely difficult hurtles.  The following is from a story in the Washington Post:

Since its inception, the lottery has brought more than a million people to the United States. But not all the winners end up with green cards. Some never follow up. Others cannot provide documents, fail in-person interviews at local embassies or consulates, or get cold feet.

Winning is often a mixed blessing. Once awarded a visa, winners have only six months to move to the United States. They must hurriedly wind up their affairs, leave behind careers and relatives, and pick a new place to live.

Tarig Elhakim was in medical school in Sudan when his father persuaded him to apply in the fall of 2014. He was stunned when he won. He began studying American history and geography in preparation for his move. And he spent months battling Sudanese bureaucrats for documents, which then had to be translated into English.

His interview wasn’t until August of last year. At the U.S. Embassy, he saw one dejected applicant after another emerge from the interview room. But when it was his turn, the official stamped his papers and said, “Welcome to America.”

“I had goose bumps all over my body,” said Elhakim, 22. “It was one of the happiest moments of my life.”

But America was changing. In 2015, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslims such as Elhakim coming to the United States. Then Trump was elected president in November.

Elhakim decided he had better move to the United States before Trump took office. He flew to Washington on Dec. 28, less than a month before the inauguration. He now lives in Arlington, Va., and is studying for his medical license so he can work as a doctor here.

 It is not the way to make America Great Again.

Stay tuned,

Dave