United States Issues Migration Ban For Terrorist-Linked States | Implications & Travel Advice
5 Jan 2017
US President Donald Trump issues executive order on refugees and travellers to the United States.The United States’ refugee programme has been suspended for four months, while applicants will be subjected to more ‘extreme’ vetting procedures.Syrian refugees have been banned indefinitely, and citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen have been barred from entering the US for three months.
- US President Donald Trump issues executive order on refugees and travellers to the United States.
- The United States’ refugee programme has been suspended for four months, while applicants will be subjected to more ‘extreme’
- Syrian refugees have been banned indefinitely, and citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen have been
barred from entering the US for three months.
Political: On Friday 27th January 2017, President Trump signed an executive order which severely limits immigration and travel to the United States, of persons from selected countries. The executive order temporarily blocks travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, deemed to be at high risk of terrorism. These countries are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia. The ban is expected to last at least four months, and will not apply to religious minority communities that are fleeing Muslim persecution in the aforementioned countries. The order has also banned all Syrian refugees indefinitely. Visa applicants will now be subject to an expanded, ‘extreme’ vetting process. Initial confusion surrounded how encompassing the ban was. It has since been established that legal US residents, with a valid ‘green card’ visa, are allowed access to the US. Dual citizens will also be allowed entry, if they pass the enhanced vetting processes, and are a dual resident of a US allied country (such as the UK). The impact of the executive order has been substantial. There has already been travel disruption in many US airports. This is due to the instantaneous implementation of the immigration ban; many applicants who were already en route to the US were turned back at the border. In addition, there have been mass protests at many international airports in the US; major disruptive protests have been reported at San Francisco and JFK (New York) International Airports. The international reaction has also been one of protest. In the United Kingdom, there have been calls for a travel ban to be imposed on President Trump. Alongside this, there have been worldwide protests in major cities, including Washington DC, London, and Brussels.
Solace Global Comment
Throughout his campaign to be elected President, Donald Trump promised various immigration reforms, including a blanket ban on Muslims. This recent immigration ban is likely an attempt by President Trump to fulfil these campaign pledges. Many commentators were unsure how such plans would be implemented, and how far they would extend. The recent executive order has bypassed much of the bureaucratic barriers to such a law. The result has been a very fast implementation of the new immigration procedures. The swiftness of the order has been a factor in the ensuing travel disruption in US airports. The exact procedures for enforcing the new immigration laws have been unclear, and many travellers that have now been banned were already en route to the US at the time of enforcement. Many such individuals have been left at airports across the US, having been banned from crossing the border. It is unclear how long the executive order can be enforced for; President Trump’s actions have been criticized as unconstitutional, and several legal challenges have already been mounted. Indeed, President Trump fired the acting US Attorney General on Monday 30 January 2017 after she questioned the legality of the immigration ban. Nevertheless, the executive order is due to remain, at least in the short-term.
The ban has resulted in serious protests worldwide, with some of the most severe in the US itself. Mass demonstrations have been organized in many American major cities; a particularly large number turned out to march on the White House in Washington DC. In addition, there have been smaller protests in many European cities, including London and Brussels. However, the most disruptive protests have occurred at US airports. Many demonstrators have gathered in international airports throughout the country, and have caused travel disruption as police forces try to clear them. As well as this, some roads leading to and from airports have been blocked by protestors; terminal four at the JFK International Airport in New York has been heavily affected by this. The result is that some flights to and from major US airports may suffer some delays.
President Trump now faces severe opposition to the recently imposed immigration ban. In the face of mounting global diplomatic and civil pressure, there is a high likelihood that President Trump will not renew the bans once they time out. The various legal challenges that are being prepared to combat the executive order may also be successful; this will further reduce the ability of the US to implement such procedures. If President Trump wanted to further solidify the immigration ban, a law would have to be passed through the US Congress. Due to the inflammatory nature of the ban, it is unlikely that the president will garner enough support for such legislation to be passed. For any such alternatives, President Trump would have to make serious concessions in order make such a law palatable to both Republicans and Democrats; this which would probably reduce the extremity of the ban. Therefore, there is a high likelihood that this immigration ban will be either repealed or will simply time out, with no alternative to replace it.
Travelers should be aware there is an increased security presence in US International Airports, especially in the arrival and departure lounges. Protests in the US are both legal and common; however, such demonstrations have in the past turned violent. It would be advisable for travellers to maintain a low profile in the short-term and monitor local events. Travelers should ensure that they avoid all protests and demonstrations. If caught up in protests, visitors should obey the orders of the local authorities and police forces.
The new immigration laws in the US are unlikely to change in the short term. Travelers should check with their local embassies or travel agent to ensure that they comply with the new laws. All visas should be up to date at the time of travelling.
Solace Global Travel Risk ManagementÂ would advise clients to employ a heightened security awareness when travelling to the United States. Due to the increased civil unrest in the areas surrounding US international airports, Solace Global’s travel safety advice is that travellers may wish to arrange airport meet and greet services prior to boarding their aircraft.
Solace Global are security and risk management experts and remain available to provide global security services and risk mitigation advice and measures, including real-time intelligence and travel technology through our Travel Risk Management Platform; Solace Secure.
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