The African Ban: Trump Administration Plans to Expand the Controversial Travel Ban

The African Ban: Trump Administration Plans to Expand the Controversial Travel Ban. Today’s blog is by Attorney Cory Keith.

In 2018, the United States Supreme Court upheld the third revision to the Trump administration’s 2017 travel ban after the previous versions were all challenged in Court. This ban currently restricts entry of nationals from several predominantly Muslim countries including: Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea—each to varying degrees.

In January of 2020, the Trump administration confirmed its intentions to add several countries to the list of countries experiencing travel restrictions. Specifically, the Trump administration is banning citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan from being allowed to apply for visas to immigrate to the United States. Additionally, citizens from Sudan and Tanzania will be barred from participating in the diversity visa lottery, which randomly awards green cards to immigrants from certain underrepresented countries.

These countries do not possess the same traits as many of the countries in the original ban; instead of focusing on people’s ethnicities the administration appears to be focusing on the amount of people overstaying their visa. Some of the citizens from these countries have overstayed visas in the United States at higher rates than citizens from other similar countries.

This addition to the Trump administration’s travel ban is certain to trigger controversy and legal challenges. The original ban has carried a reputation for separating US citizens from their spouses and minor children. The administration’s travel ban is concealed behind the notion of national security but at the cost of preventing United States citizens from being able to reunite with their loved ones in the United States. This new addition to the travel ban makes two things certain: (1) additional countries added will result in more devastation to US citizens and their families, and (2) additional countries impacted will lead to further litigation as to the constitutionality of the ban.