President Trump’s back on his bullshit with a new version of his travel ban. The ban went into effect with the blessing of the Supreme Court on Friday. The initial ban dictated that non-U.S. citizens from Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia could not enter the country. The executive order also banned refugees from entering the United States.
Multiple judges ruled the executive order unconstitutional, so the Trump team revised the ban to make it seem less Islamophobic. The countries listed above are all Muslim-majority countries, which led many people to wonder whether Trump was acting out of prejudice.
The first time around, the ban went into effect quickly and caused tons of confusion. It led to people with and without visas being detained for no real reason. Now, it seems that airports will be more prepared to follow this executive order. Instructions have been sent to airport staff to make the rules more clear.
While most of the executive order remains the same, there’s one massive change: Visa seekers with a “bona fide relationship” to the United States will be allowed to enter the country, while others will not. Refugees will also be allowed in, but we are quickly approaching Trump’s limit of 50,000 refugees. (For comparison, Obama set a limit of 110,000).
A “bona fide relationship” was defined by the Supreme Court, who referenced the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965. “Close relatives” count as a significant link to the United States, but “close” is a relative term that can be misconstrued.
This infographic from The Washington Post shows who can and cannot enter the U.S. based on relationship to a citizen. Step-siblings and parents are allowed, but not grandparents. Finances are allowed, but not a fiance’s family.
As the United States has become more progressive, family types have shifted and become more than the nuclear model. Restricting close family to these guidelines may cause difficulty joining family members who do not fit this mold.
This whole shebang was supposed to keep Americans safe, but many people are confused as to how it will do that. This is especially confusing, as Americans are more likely to die from accidental gunshot wounds and at the hands of the police than from a terrorist attack.
Overall, many people still vehemently oppose the travel ban, including the ACLU and Amnesty International, who called it xenophobic and stupid. Hawaii has challenged Trump as well, asking a federal judge to rule the ban unlawful. It seems that this ban is more likely to tear families apart and cause more confusion than it is to keep Americans safe.