(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.
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
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."
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:
Details on Impacted Countries
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:
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:
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.