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02.05.20

Trump administration expands travel ban

BY Jason Gerrol

On January 31, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation expanding his previously implemented travel ban to now include foreign nationals of Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.

Importantly, the ban does not apply to non-immigrant visas (e.g., F-1, H-1B, etc.), and only applies to the following immigrant visa categories:

Burma (Myanmar): suspends the entry of all immigrants, except Special Immigrants (i.e., individuals who have provided assistance to the U.S. government).

Eritrea: suspends the entry of all immigrants, except Special Immigrants.

Kyrgyzstan: suspends the entry of all immigrants, except Special Immigrants.

Nigeria: suspends the entry of all immigrants, except Special Immigrants.

Sudan: suspends the entry of all Diversity Visa immigrants.

Tanzania: suspends the entry of all Diversity Visa immigrants.

The above suspensions apply to foreign nationals who are outside the United States on the effective date of the order (February 21, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. EST), and who are not eligible for a waiver or one of the exceptions announced in the previously implemented travel ban. Foreign nationals impacted by the travel ban should consult with experienced immigration counsel regarding their options.

According to President Trump, countries are added to the travel ban on the basis of whether the foreign government (1) utilizes reliable identity management practices and shares relevant information with their U.S. counterparts; (2) shares national security and public-safety information; or (3) otherwise poses a national security or public-safety risk. However, opponents of the travel ban have argued, and continue to argue, the restrictions are driven by discriminatory racial and religious animus toward certain populations (on June 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected such arguments in a narrow 5–4 decision).

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Jason Gerrol

Of Counsel

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