President Trump appears to be determined to bring in a travel ban in some form or the other despite the huge amount of criticism that he has been facing over the issue. The official news is that new travel restrictions by refugees and immigrants from specific countries will start applying from Thursday night onwards.
State Department to oversee
The implementation of the new restrictions will be done under the supervision of the State Department, it appears. Embassies and consulates are being given the guidance they need to help people from their countries navigate the new rules with the least inconvenience. However, this has not been announced via any official statement yet.
The restrictions that will kick- in from part of the executive order issued by the President soon after his election, banning people from coming in from six countries. In main, this was seen as a Muslim ban given that the six countries are predominantly Islamic ones and also given President Trump vocal criticism about allowing Muslims into the country.
What you should know about the restrictions
The ban will apply to people coming to the U.S. from Sudan, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria. Existing visa holders may not face much trouble but those who apply for fresh visas to enter the U.S. from now onwards may have to answer a slew of questions and provide proof to indicate that they have a close relationship with someone already in the U.S. Only then will the visa be issued.
The restrictions do not just impact those with family ties to American residents but also to business travelers. Those traveling to the U.S. on business trips must also carry proof of a well-documented, formal relationship.
The 'bona fide connections' issue
While allowing some sections of the executive order to be implemented, the Court has said that it must be determined of the traveler has 'bona fide connections' with someone in the U.S. Now the meaning of this term and the means to actually verify this has thrown the officials into a tizzy because there will be a lot of complexity involved in carrying out the checks.
Advocacy groups for immigrants and refugee rights have, understandably, protested the restrictions. They believe that the process already in place is rigorous enough and the new one only serves to make even more complex and convoluted a system that exists.