Surprise Travel Ban Takes Chaotic Effect

The below was posted by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee on the 25th; since then, the executive order has gone into effect, and visa holders from these countries have been denied entry into the US. To be super clear, “visa” includes green card; this ban affects not only new immigrants (and tourists!), but legal permanent residents and the spouses of Americans.

Here is what we know so far about the pending actions. Please note that this may change:

1. The Executive Order signed by Donald Trump will list 6 (predominantly Muslim) countries where travel/immigration to the US will be banned. There will be an option to add more at a later date. Similar to NSEERS. These countries are:

– Syria
– Yemen
– Somalia
– Sudan
– Iraq
– Iran

2. It is advised that students from the listed countries not leave the US. They won’t be permitted back in. Do not overstay your visa – if you have to leave, please do so. If you are uncertain please seek the advice of an immigration attorney.

3. We do not know what happens to visa holders from those countries who are currently in the US.

4. People from listed countries who have visas, but haven’t traveled to the US, won’t be allowed in. Their visa is void.

5. The ban may extend to spouses of US citizens who are from one of the listed countries, and have pending applications to US.

6. The EO will call for what’s known as a “values test.” This is an ideology test. Will ask applicants about religious beliefs.

7. The EO coming after the ban will focus on the wall, and increasing deportations.

The ADC Legal Department offers pro bono legal services, legal@adc.org.

This is incredibly personal for me. Two of the important mentors in my life are a Libyan-born American (who fled Libya in the 1970s, when Gaddafi took over) and an Iranian-born American (who fled Iran in the 1980s, when Ayatollah Khomeni took over). It’s my experience that Muslims who come to the United States do it because they believe in the values of the United States. If they wanted to live under state-enforced Sharia law, they’d hang out in a country with state-enforced Sharia law. It’d be way easier and cheaper. To put it another way, if I wanted to get Texas barbecue, I wouldn’t fly to Sweden.

This is the ADC’s latest press release on their website. Help if you can. This is shameful and cruel beyond words.

Also, and this should probably already be obvious – a ban based on country of origin is illegal under US law. Specifically, the 1965 immigration act, which abolished national quotas. This has been reaffirmed by the courts multiple times. I have a dream that Lyndon Johnson will literally rise from the grave to drag Trump into the street with skeletal hands, attended by the baying of spectral beagles.

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