WASHINGTON, D.C. — Effective today at 8 p.m., visitors and refugees from six Muslim-majority countries will be granted visas only if they have close ties to the United States, according to new State Department guidelines.
Excluded from the definition of close family: fiancées, grandparents and others not deemed to be immediate family.
A lack of clarity also remains regarding what constitutes a valid relationship with an organization or entity within the U.S.
The plan follows Monday’s Supreme Court announcement allowing parts of the president’s travel and refugee ban executive order to proceed while it awaits Supreme Court review in the fall.
“Our national security depends on the rigorous systems of vetting already in place, not on excluding people who have family and prospective jobs here,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “When America bans grandmothers, our politics have become more important than our people, much less sound policy. These new guidelines are too narrow and do not keep with our values as Americans.”