Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced a new executive order permanently banning citizens of seven countries — Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, and North Korea — from entering the United States. The Sept. 24 ban includes stricter entry regulations for citizens of Iraq and certain government officials from Venezuela.
The new , created in order to “protect the security and interests of the United States and its people,” most notably replaces the 90-day suspension included in Trump's original travel ban with one that is indefinitely long.
The University condemned the Trump administration’s previous travel ban attempts. Earlier this month, the University that it was joining an amicus — or friend-of-the-court — brief that would oppose the travel ban. In that amicus brief, along with 30 other colleges and universities, the University voiced serious concerns about the ban’s threat to higher education. In March, in the wake of the issuing of the administration's first travel ban, the University also announced the provision of additional resources for students with respect to immigration-related information and advocacy.
The new travel ban also provides more specific details about the sanctions that will be leveled against the respective countries. Notably, it also includes North Korea and Venezuela on its list of targeted countries.
Pundits have remarked that the inclusion of these two new countries is an attempt to make the travel ban seem less like a “Muslim ban.” Critics, however, are quick to point out that the addition of North Korea and Venezuela to the ban will minimally impact the total number of individuals affected.
“President Trump’s original sin of targeting Muslims cannot be cured by throwing other countries onto his enemies list,” said Anthony Romero ’87, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
“The fact that Trump has added North Korea — with few visitors to the U.S. — and a few government officials from Venezuela doesn’t obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban,” he further explained.
As rationale for adding North Korea to the ban, the executive mentioned that “North Korea does not cooperate with the United States Government in any respect and fails to satisfy all information-sharing requirements,” while the Venezuelan government is “uncooperative in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public-safety threats.”
The order’s mention of Venezuela and North Korea directly reflects heightened tensions in foreign relations between Washington and the two countries. In his recent speech at the United Nations, Trump strongly condemned continued nuclear activity in North Korea, and he also expressed critical comments on Nicolás Maduro’s autocratic administration in Venezuela.
Disapprovers argue that unconstitutional values still remain in the revised version of the travel ban.
“The revised travel ban shows a xenophobic policy towards Muslims which is mutating, virus-like, into an ever more resilient strain,” said Salil Shetty, the Secretary General of Amnesty International.
The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear whether the executive order was an unconstitutional ban on Muslims on Oct. 10. However, after the Trump administration’s Sunday announcement, justices removed the case and requested files on the new papers from lawyers of both sides.
The new travel ban will be effective starting on Oct. 18, when the temporary travel ban, issued in an effort to avoid legal problems pertaining to the original ban, expires.