In Midst of Court Wrangle, US Clarifies Travel Ban Rules




 

While President Donald Trump’s Administration faces an uphill battle over its recent 90-day ban imposed on travelers from seven countries, the Departement of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued clarifications on the executive order on Friday, February 3, 2017.

Contrary to recent concerns, the ban should not affect citizens of countries other than the seven, while green card holders will be allowed to return to the US, as will travelers with diplomatic, UN and NATO visas, the statement said.

The clarification from the US government comes in the wake of a wave of controversy and confusion around the world in relation to what some termed a discriminatory ban against Muslims in the US, as well as exactly what countries were covered under the ban.

“These seven countries are the only countries to which the pause on entry applies,” said the DHS in the statement. “No other countries face such treatment. Nor have any other countries been identified as warranting future inclusion at this time, contrary to false reports.”

The travel ban applies to nationals of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. No other countries have been added to the list. The State Department of the US said that almost 60,000 visas were suspended after the passing of the order. However, as of February 3, 2017, the travel ban was reversed by a federal judge who ruled that there were constitutional grounds to challenge the ban. The order has been facing resistance from even his own party.

It was also one of the subjects discussed during the meeting of the African Union. Outgoing AU Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (PhD), referenced it in her last speech before the assembled delegates of the African Union in Addis Abeba, calling it one of the greatest challenges for the continent.

The executive order enacting the travel ban was signed on January 27 and sparked a wave of protests in the US and around the world.

Close to 20 travelers aboard Ethiopian Airlines-nationals of Yemen, Somalia and Sudan who were affected by the ban-returned to Addis Abeba’s Bole International Airport from US bound flights the day after the executive order was issued. The Head of the Government Communications Affairs Office, Negeri Lencho (PhD), remarked during his weekly media briefing that Ethiopia would welcome those who met with that fate.

President Trump, who was elected to office in November 2016, promised during his campaign that he would enact a ban on Muslims if he was elected.

 



By MENNA ASRAT
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Feb 07,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 875]


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