Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at Noon EST, and he has a series of planned Executive Orders to sign on the same day – including rescinding President Trump’s travel ban.
According to the latest from the transition team, Biden will sign about a dozen Executive Orders later in the afternoon following the inauguration, and one of them will lift the ban on immigration to the United States from 13 mostly Muslim nations enacted by Trump when he took office in 2017.
Twice the ban was struck down by federal judges who said it was religious discrimination, but in June of 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the third version of the policy saying that federal law gives the President broad authority to suspend entry to the U.S.
Significant restrictions on travel to the U.S. were originally placed on Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Iraq and Sudan were removed, and Chad, North Korea and Venezuela were added.
On Jan. 31, 2020, the administration banned certain visas from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria and Tanzania, and re-added Sudan, which would not allow citizens of those countries to settle permanently in America.
The ban was just one of several impactful travel decisions made by Trump during his four years. In a memo to incoming White House Senior Staff, new Chief of Staff Ron Klain confirmed the move:
“President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward. On Inauguration Day, President-elect Biden will sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises, restore humanity to our immigration system, and make government function for the people.”
It’s no secret that my family was personally effected by the travel ban in November of 2019 when my sister-in-law was denied entry to the United States for no apparent reason aside from the fact she is a Venezuelan citizen. After being detained and harassed with a preposterous line of questioning she and her Aunt were sent back to Colombia and her visa cancelled.
I, personally, as a travel expert, former travel industry professional and as a regular human being, am happy to see the Biden administration taking swift action to reverse some of the divisive and insensitive policies from the last administration. I am curious to see, however, if there will be any appeal process for those who were adversely effected by the ban in previous years via the State Department.
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