President Trump's travel ban is back — at least part of it, and at least until the Supreme Court can consider it fully after hearing arguments in October. For now, it'll be in effect as of Thursday night (6/29) at 8 PM ET.
Time will tell if the resumption of the ban causes the same chaos that greeted it on its initial deployment in January, when legal visa holders, refugees, vacationers and business travelers alike saw their travel and life plans thrown into disarray. The Supreme Court's remarks, earlier this week, were aimed at narrowing the application of the ban, though there are, without doubt, some notable gray areas. In short:
- If you're a U.S. citizen, be glad. (Well, citizens of good conscience might be heartbroken, depressed, angry, etc., about a ban affecting citizens of countries that, unlike, say, Saudi Arabia, by and large haven't engendered massive acts of terror against the U.S.) But American citizens shouldn't encounter problems at our borders. As for reciprocal travel privileges to the six banned countries (Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran, and Yemen), we'll see. Iran and Iraq reportedly floated a reciprocal ban in January.
- If you currently hold a visa from one of the six countries, you should fare better than in January, with travel permitted.
- If you're a refugee midway through your paperwork, and without a visa, you are probably in trouble, unfortunately.
- Those hoping to come to the U.S. on a new visa for sundry other purposes will need to look closely and hope for the best. Journalists should be allowed. "Workers who have accepted job offers, lecturers with formal speaking invitations, and students ... should also be exempt [from the ban]." Then there's a massive gray area: the official language is those with "previously established significant contacts" or those in need of urgent medical care" might squeak through.
- If you're a relative of someone in the U.S. from those six countries looking to obtain a visa, well, hold your breath, because "relative of" is defined narrowly: "New visa applicants must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or sibling already in the U.S." In other words: Grandma, we'll miss you.
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