July 3, 2017
On Monday, the Supreme Court partially lifted the stay of Executive Order 13780 (also known as the “Muslim ban”). The Court is allowing the Trump Administration to suspend entry of nationals from six majority-Muslim countries while the Court prepares to hear appeals from rulings that largely blocked enforcement of the order.
Travel visas will be denied to foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, for 90 days, with an exception for foreign nationals “who have a credible claim of bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The U.S. refugee program will similarly be suspended for 120 days to those who do not have a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity” in the United States.
These travel restrictions are nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to block Muslims from entering the country. We live in a country that thrives on the contributions of millions of Muslim Americans, immigrants and their families. As the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals remarked, the executive order “speaks with vague words of national security but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”
AABA President Miriam Kim stated, “The discriminatory call for ‘additional scrutiny’ of foreign nationals—under the false pretense of supporting ‘national security’—is divisive and indefensible. President Trump’s Muslim ban is a reminder of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a stain on American history.”
AABA also condemns less publicized aspects of President Trump’s immigration policies, including its plan for “extreme vetting.” The administration’s “extreme vetting” proposal would allow the Department of State to collect an unprecedented amount of highly personal information from U.S. visa applicants, including information from all social media platforms and identifiers during the last five years and detailed information about all domestic and internal travel during the last fifteen years. “AABA has serious concerns that this type of unfettered discretion and invasion into the personal lives of any visa applicant may lead to increased religious and racial profiling,” AABA President Kim stated.
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