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CAIR Georgia Condemns Trump's Expanded Muslim Ban, Offers Help To Impacted Immigrants

repeal the ban 2.jpg(ATLANTA, GA - 1/31/2020) – The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia) today condemned the Trump Administration’s latest expansion of the Muslim Ban, and encouraged individuals potentially impacted by the ban to seek legal advice before traveling out of the country.

CAIR chapters are also distributing a nationwide tutorial educating travelers about the impact of the expanded Muslim Ban.

SEE: What You Need To Know About the Latest Muslim Ban

The expansion adds six more countries to the list of countries facing travel restrictions: Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania, according to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

Citizens of Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria will be barred from living or working in the United  States on a permanent basis. Citizens of Sudan and Tanzania are being barred from the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

The ban will continue to include Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea.The order is reportedly scheduled to take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 22, 2020.

READ: Trump to expand travel ban to six additional countries - U.S. official

http://news.trust.org//item/20200131192545-k6ads/

In a statement, CAIR-Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said:

“No one should be surprised by President Trump's latest attempt to turn white supremacy into government policy. An expanded Muslim Ban was the natural next step for a demagogue who has referred to African nations as s-hole countries, defended neo-Confederate marchers in Charlottesville, and called for banning all Muslims from the United States.

"Banning millions of Muslims and Africans from entering our country for school, work, medical treatment, and family visits does not make us safe; it makes white nationalists happy, which is exactly the point of President Trump's immigration policies.

"We encourage students, patients, families and other immigrants from the targeted countries who already have legal status in the United States to seek legal advice about how the Muslim Ban impacts them. In the meantime, either stay in the country, or travel here before the order takes effect."

CONTACT: CAIR-Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WHAT

Timing

Muslim Ban 3.0 is already in full effect for individuals from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, North Korea, and Venezuela. The expanded Ban affecting individuals from Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Kyrgyzstan goes into effect February 21, 2020.

Who is Impacted Under the Expanded Ban?

Certain nationals of Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Kyrgyzstan.

The expanded Ban only applies to individuals who are 1) outside of the U.S. on the effective date, 2) who did not have a valid visa on that date, and 3) who have not obtained a waiver (discussed below).

The expanded Ban does not apply to:

  • U.S. Lawful permanent residents (green card holders);
  • People admitted or paroled into the U.S. on or after February 21, 2020;
  • People with a document other than a visa that allows them to travel to the U.S., if the document is dated on or after the effective date of the new Muslim Ban;
  • Dual-nationals traveling on a passport from a non-designated country;
  • People who have been granted asylum by the U.S.;
  • Refugees already admitted to the U.S.; or
  • Individuals granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention against Torture.

Details on Impacted Countries

Sudan

  • All Diversity Visas are suspended for Sudanese nationals.

Tanzania

  • All Diversity Visas are suspended for Tanzanian nationals.

Nigeria

  • All immigrant visas from Nigeria are suspended.
  • Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government are exempt from the Ban.

Myanmar

  • All immigrant visas from Myanmar are suspended.
  • Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government are exempt from the Ban.

Eritrea

  • All immigrant visas from Eritrea are suspended.
  • B1/B2 visitor visas from Eritrea were previously suspended under a separate proclamation.
  • Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government are exempt from the Ban.

Kyrgyzstan

  • All immigrant visas from Kyrgyzstan are suspended.
  • Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government are exempt from the Ban.

Waivers Seeking an Exception to the Muslim Ban

A “waiver” is permission to obtain a U.S. visa, even though the Muslim Ban says you are not eligible to get one. Muslim Ban 3.0 states that banned individuals can ask for a waiver to request an exception that would allow the visa to be issued as long as they can show that:

  1. Denying entry would cause the visa applicant undue hardship;
  2. Entry to the U.S. would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the U.S.; and
  3. Entry would be in the national interest of the U.S.

The law states that a consular officer or Customs and Border Protection official has the authority to grant a waiver on a case-by-case-basis. The law also lists several examples where a waiver can
be granted (such as needing urgent medical care, reuniting with immediate family members in the U.S., business ties etc.).

Unfortunately the waiver process has been very unclear and applied unevenly. The government has provided very little guidance on the waiver process. Our organizations are currently suing the government to challenge the waiver process.

Here are some things we know:

  • There is no formal process to request a waiver. There is no available form online to fill out. Any documents submitted to the consulate outlining why you qualify for a waiver may or may not be accepted.
  • Many consulates have been notifying individuals that either:
    • The consulate is denying the waiver for their case, stating that the visa is “refused under 212(f)”:
      • In this case, there is no appeal process for the decision. Many individuals are submitting waiver requests, however, it is unclear if they are being accepted.
    • The consulate is considering their case for a waiver:
      • In this case, the consulate may or may not ask you about the above criteria in the interview; the consulate may or may not accept a written letter outlining why you meet the above criteria either during your interview or if you try to email/mail it in; the consulate may or may not refer your case to Washington D.C.

If you have an upcoming interview before a consulate, please seek legal advice about the waiver process.

Information around waivers can change very quickly, so seek legal help (while watching out for scams) and please check back frequently.