Donald Trump’s regressive government introduced a law that banned people from multiple Muslim countries like Libya, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and more from entering the country. It was a racist law that went against the multicultural and accepting image that America has abroad.
The previous controversial president introduced the travelling ban in 2017 March. This ban was followed up with more vetting and visa processes that prevented people from those banned countries from getting easy access to the US. It was brought into effect because Trump wanted to derail the entry of terrorists.
But Joe Biden has already signed an executive order that revoked the ban placed on multiple Muslim nations. He signed the order right after taking the oath and became the 46th president of the United States. He said that the national security of the country would, in fact, be bolstered by revoking the law. During his proclamation, he mentioned that the nation was founded on religious tolerance and freedom, a principle enshrined in the country’s constitution.
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Reactions As A Result Of the Revoke
Jen Psaki, White House spokeswoman, addressed a press briefing and said that the restrictions were rooted in xenophobia and religious animus. As such, their removal was a welcome move. Backing up this sentiment, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that it was an essential step towards correcting the past administration’s anti-immigrant and anti-muslim agenda.
The revoke was welcomed by Nihad Awad, who heads the country’s most prominent Muslim rights organization. He was proud of Biden for fulfilling his campaign pledge of correcting relationships with Muslim allies.
Restrictions on Travel under Joe Biden’s Administration
The travel ban’s signing doesn’t indicate that the government is adopting a laissez-faire attitude to visa application and immigration. The new president is looking into the present vetting and screening procedures of the nation. He has stated that the US will follow an individualized and rigorous vetting system. He is said to be focusing on social media platforms and their usage. Along with the above, he is also keen on knowing about the effectiveness of a foreign government’s various information sharing means and practices.
He has also mentioned that if someone’s visa was blocked or denied due to the previous travel ban, then that person can have their application reconsidered.
What Was The Situation During The Muslim Ban?
Everyone will remember the social media chaos that took place after the ban was announced. But worse was the chaos that was taking place in the various US airports with travelers who had just arrived. There were dozens of translators and lawyers who were helping travelers denied by officials even though they possessed green cards and all visas.
Protesters soon demanded a release of the detained travelers, and after that, a New York federal judge stopped the measure altogether. But that wasn’t the end of it. There were multiple iterations of this ban, with the latest one being enacted in 2018. In the recent version, the ban grouped more countries. It drew criticism for including 6 African nations.
The Brenan Centre for Justice stated that 42,000+ people haven’t been able to get in the country due to the restrictions that came into effect since the year 2017. It must be noted that between October 2015 to September 2019, 79% fewer visas were issued to the Iranians, 66% less to the Yemenis, and 74% less to the Somalis. The ban effectively separated families and created roadblocks for citizens since they couldn’t bring in non-citizen relatives.
What Is The Reality Of This Revoke?
The ban has certainly allowed many people to breathe a sigh of relief. It will enable many families to be reunited and again open up employment as well as educational opportunities. But Linda Sarsour, an activist of Palestinian-American origins and the executive director of the famed MPower Change, a grassroots movement for Muslims, says that people need to temper their expectations.
She says that it might take months or weeks for the new processes to come into effect. So families won’t get united instantly. Along with this, there are also COVID-19 travel restrictions that will complicate matters and timelines more.
However, for sure, sooner or later, people will get united with their loved ones. But immigration and Muslim advocates say that their work isn’t over. There are grassroots organizations working together to ensure that the Biden camp’s information gets shared with their communities inaccessible languages.
What Is The No Ban Act?
The travel ban was traumatizing for Muslims, and it created deep chaos within their communities. While the reversal of the ban is a welcome move, but that isn’t enough. Organizations are pushing for Congress to enact a No Ban Act so that no president in the future can bring to life such a sweeping ban again.
Such a bill was passed in the House back in 2019, but it got stalled by the Senate. That barrier will hopefully be eradicated since Democrats have taken control of both the Chambers after their win in Georgia. It’s important to note that these grassroots organizations don’t want to undermine the constitution and its rules. Advocates are fine with restrictions being placed in cases about the nation’s safety, as identified by the respected Secretary of State.
Note that the No Ban Act doesn’t include only the travel ban. It also contains sections related to charting pathways for undocumented people and preventing family separation. The bill also demands new funding to ensure that refugees and immigrants have an easier time integrating with US culture.
Sarsour says that people are pushing for this No Ban Act since the revoke of the previous ban is temporary and is mostly based on the new president’s ideology and philosophy. But that is not a reliable way to lead a life. After all, citizens can’t live in fear of a regime change in 2024 that will throw the country in chaos again.