Summary of President Trump’s New Proclamation that Bans Certain Foreign Individuals from Entering the U.S.

This proclamation, issued September 24, 2017, continues and expands on the travel ban policies set forth in Executive Order 13780, issued on March 6, 2017. The new proclamation:

  • Indefinitely suspends entry to the U.S. for certain individuals from eight countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. It applies to those who are outside the U.S. or do not have a valid visa on the applicable effective date, or those who do not qualify for a visa or other valid travel document. It excludes Sudan, which was included in Executive Order 13780.
    • Takes effect immediately for individuals who were subject to entry restrictions under Executive Order 13780.
    • Takes effect Oct. 18 for all other individuals who are subject to the ban, unless they have a valid visa as of that date.
    • Does not apply to green card holders, dual nationals with a passport issued by a country that is not banned, individuals with diplomatic visas, anyone with a current valid visa to travel to the U.S. and those who were admitted or paroled into the U.S. on or after the applicable effective date, and those already granted asylum or refugee status in the U.S. before the effective date of the order.
  • Sets restrictions that vary by country.
    • North Korea, Syria:  No immigrant or nonimmigrant visas will be issued.
    • Iran: No immigrant visas will be issued. The only nonimmigrant visas that will be issued are student (F/M) and exchange visitor (J) visas after enhanced screening and vetting.
    • Chad, Libya, Yemen: No immigrant visas and no business and tourist (B1/B2) visas will be issued.
    • Somalia: No immigrant visas will be issued. Applications for nonimmigrant visas will be subject to additional scrutiny.
    • Venezuela: Only business and tourist (B1/B2) visas for certain government officials and their immediate family members will be restricted. Current Venezuelan visa holders will be subject to additional measures ensuring traveler information remains current.
  • Selects countries based on alleged deficiencies in three areas that were identified during a review process directed by Executive Order 13780:
    • “Identity-management information,” which focuses on the integrity of documents required for travel to the United States. This includes whether the country issues electronic passports embedded with data to enable confirmation of identity, reports lost and stolen passports to appropriate entities, and makes available upon request identity-related information not included in its passports.
    • “National security and public-safety information,” which includes whether the country makes available known or suspected terrorist and criminal-history information upon request, whether it provides passport and national-identity document exemplars, and whether it impedes the U.S. government’s receipt of information about passengers and crew traveling to the U.S.
    • “National security and public-safety risk assessment,” which focuses on national security risk indicators, such as whether the country is a known or potential terrorist safe haven, whether it is a participant in the Visa Waiver Program and meets all of its requirements, and whether it regularly fails to receive its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the U.S.

Based on the review, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identified an additional eight countries as “inadequate,” but the proclamation does not identify them or explain why these other countries (other than Iraq) are not included in the ban.

  • Grants case-by-case waiver only to certain individuals. The ban makes a waiver available only to immigrants who can prove that denying entry would cause undue hardship to the person, that his or her entry would not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety, and that the entry would be in the national interest.
  • Creates new reporting requirements for the Department of Homeland Security.
    • DHS must create a process to assess, and submit a report every 180 days on, whether the new suspensions and limitations should be continued, terminated, modified, or supplemented.
    • DHS also must periodically report on steps the U.S. government is taking to improve vetting for all foreign nationals; evaluate existing screening and vetting procedures; and describe the scope and magnitude of potential fraud, errors, false information, and unverifiable claims made in applications for immigration benefits.
  • Allows the secretary of DHS to recommend new bans on additional countries at any time. The secretary also may recommend the removal or modification of any restrictions and limitations the proclamation sets out.

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