A scaled-back version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban is now in effect. The new rules, the product of months of legal wrangling, aren’t so much an outright ban as a tightening of already-tough visa policies affecting citizens from six Muslim-majority countries. Refugees are covered, too.
Under the temporary rules, citizens from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen who already have visas will be allowed into the United States. But people from those countries who need new visas will now have to prove a close family relationship or an existing relationship with an entity like a school or business in the U.S.
Immigration lawyers and advocates are hoping this revision is not as chaotic as the initial ban.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is preparing for continued confusion about the modified ban. The ACLU’s Molly Tack-Hooper says the travel ban is vague in its interpretation.
“You can come visit your step-sister but not your grandma. You can’t come see your fiance, but if you’ve actually gotten married, then it’s a sufficiently close relationship. These distinctions seem arbitrary and not necessarily consistent with the language or spirit of the Supreme Court order,” Tack-Hooper said.
Tack-Hooper expects more litigation over the summer as people try and determine if it applies to their particular case.
She says that people with visas should be able to travel freely, but that depends on the federal government’s interpretation of each case.
The Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision on the issue in October. - AP