30th June 2017
Travel Information: US President Donald Trump’s travel ban has come into force, impacting travellers from six Muslim-majority nations – Somalia, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Syria. The US Supreme Court has ruled that a partial implementation of the President’s ban can go ahead, despite it being blocked by lower courts. According to their ruling, travellers from these six countries, with no formal relationship with any person or organisation in the US, will be banned from entering the country for a period of 90 days, from 29 June. Also, the court has ruled to allow the suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, beginning on the same date. Those exempt from the ban include:
To be included as a “bona fide” family member, one must be a parent, child, spouse, fiancé, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or sibling. Those family members not included in this definition include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, or any other member of close or extended family.
This executive order, originally signed on 27 January 2017, has needed to overcome a number of hurdles to even get to the stage where it is partially implemented. Not least the efforts of judges from liberal states who blocked its implementation after both the 27 January signing and its edited version in March of this year.
When it was initially instituted, the ban caused mass chaos at airports in the US and around the world – not only in the countries whose citizens had been banned from entering the US. Travellers were left in limbo as flight companies were unsure of what the executive order meant. This version of the travel ban is slightly clearer however.
The other travel bans were also greeted by a series of large-scale protests at airports across the US, which caused widespread disruption to travellers with flights to and from those locations. Further protests are likely this time around but they are unlikely to reach the same level as those seen before, partly due to this version of the travel ban being less impactful than the others. Protests had already been reported in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles before the ban came into force.
This new, watered down ban has already brought about a legal response. Hawaii has asked the US Supreme Court to “clarify as soon as possible that the Supreme Court meant what it said,” and to clarify the terms of “bona fide” family ties; more legal challenges are expected to occur.
If travellers are unsure if they will be affected by this travel ban, they are advised to contact their local US embassy or consulate. It is hoped, and indeed predicted, that this edition of the travel ban will lead to fewer scenes of chaos, especially when compared to its initial implementation. Airport officials have reportedly been better briefed and trained on this new ban. However, protests at airports, government buildings, and locations associated with President Donald Trump are expected to increase, at least to some extent.
Travellers from the US and their allied nations should also consider that the countries who are included in this ban, Iran most notably, have threatened reciprocal bans.
Solace Global would advise clients travelling through US airports to follow local media and plan their travel thoroughly, in response to protests. Solace Global would not advise clients of the need to employ enhanced security measures when visiting the US. Travellers may wish to employ travel tracking with an intelligence feed, so they can stay abreast of the latest security updates.