New Travel Ban Executive Order Could Clarify Confusion

by Richard D’Ambrosio
New Travel Ban Executive Order Could Clarify Confusion

Seattle-Tacoma Airport protest against immigration ban. Photo: Dennis Bratland


The travel industry is waiting this week for an update to the Trump Administration immigration executive order that caused confusion and demonstrations at airports worldwide, and led to a drop in travel to and from the United States.

The original order, issued Jan. 24, barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — from entering the U.S. for 90 days, blocked all refugees for 120 days and banned refugees from Syria indefinitely.

The succeeding confusion over what the immigration rules were has led to a decline in cross-border trips and international travel plans, according to agents and the American Society of Travel Agents.

Universities reported that faculty and students were ensnared in the order, and either left stranded in their home countries, or feared for leaving the U.S. on personal or business trips. It also led to concern from U.S. tourism officials that America would appear less welcoming, and inbound tourism would drop.

During a press conference last Thursday President Trump said he would be signing a revised order "toward the beginning or middle" of this week. The revised executive order on immigration will "protect our people," he said, while also negating the objections raised by three courts since the order was implemented.

For example, the new executive order will not impact green card holders, media reports said. The Associated Press reported that citizens of the seven countries targeted who already have green cards or visas, would not face restrictions.

The new order also reportedly will provide for due process rights by giving detailed notice of restrictions for those with current or pending visas. As a result travel agents and travelers should have more advanced notice about the details as well.

At a conference in Munich over the weekend, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly expressed hopes to “work the roll-out plan in particular to make sure that there’s no one in a sense caught in the system moving from overseas to our airports, which happened in the first release."

According to media reports, unresolved points include whether existing non-immigrant visas will be revoked and special immigrant visas (typically used by Afghans and Iraqis who helped the U.S. military).

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