Looking Back and Fighting Forward on the One-Year Anniversary of Muslim Ban 3.0
OCTOBER 2018 | Arabic version (PDF)
Prepared by No Muslim Ban Ever
On September 24, 2017, President Trump signed Presidential Proclamation 9645 (“Muslim Ban 3.0”), which was the third attempt to deliver on his campaign promise to create a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
CURRENT STATUS OF MUSLIM BAN 3.0
- Most people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea (and certain government officials from Venezuela) are indefinitely banned from obtaining most immigrant and nonimmigrants visas to the U.S. There is no exception for people trying to unite with U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses, children, or parents. There are no longer exceptions for qualifying “bona fide relationships.”
- Muslim Ban 3.0 includes a waiver provision; a “waiver” is permission to get a visa, even though the Muslim Ban says you are not eligible for one. Waivers are available to people who can show that (1) denying entry to the U.S. would cause the visa applicant undue hardship, (2) entry to the U.S. would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the U.S., and (3) entry would be in the national interest of the U.S.
- The ban does not affect lawful permanent residents (“green card”–holders), dual nationals traveling with a passport from a non-banned country, and a few other minor exceptions.
FOR A FULL SUMMARY AND KNOW-YOUR-RIGHTS GUIDE, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
THE WAIVER PROCESS is the only mechanism and hope for individuals from the banned nations to obtain a visa. However, the waiver process is a sham. There is no formal process or application, and most cases have either been denied or indefinitely put on hold. We know from recent released statistics from Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) that only 2 percent of waiver applications have been granted, meaning 98 percent are denied or pending.
“[T]he waiver process is a superficial and wasteful bureaucratic exercise designed to hide the true intent of the travel ban: to keep an arbitrary group of Muslim travelers and immigrants from ever reaching the shores of the United States.”
— Former U.S. consular officer
IN THE PAST YEAR, SINCE MUSLIM BAN 3.0 WAS SIGNED
- Muslim Ban 3.0 was set to go into full effect on October 18, 2017, but on October 17, 2017, a U.S. district court in Hawaii temporarily blocked it from going into effect until the court could examine the legality of the ban.
- On December 4, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Muslim Ban 3.0 to go into full effect temporarily until it heard oral arguments and issued a final decision. The impact was immediate and devastating, as thousands of people waiting for visas to unite with family, obtain urgent medical care, or pursue studies were issued mass denials of waivers.
- On April 11, 2018, Chad — a Muslim-majority country — was removed from the list of banned countries.
- On April 25, 2018, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Trump v. Hawaii
- On June 26, 2018, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court said Muslim Ban 3.0 is legal and will stay in effect.
- Currently, lawsuits are challenging the unlawful implementation of the Muslim ban.
The Supreme Court’s decisions are an endorsement of bigoted ideals and a tacit approval of religious and ethnic discrimination. It has been wrong before on major decisions, such as its decision in Dred Scott and Korematsu. That is why our fight against the Muslim ban does not end in the courts.
The Muslim ban has deeply affected countless families and individuals from all banned nations as well as their families here in the U.S.
“In rejecting a racist decision, then, the Supreme Court seemed to repeat the same bad logic of the 1940s decision by rubber stamping the Trump administration’s bald assertions that the ‘immigration travel ban’ is justified by national security.”
— Karen Korematsu, Founder and Executive Director, The Fred T. Korematsu Institute
STORIES OF IMPACT
A SOMALI-AMERICAN U.S. CITIZEN IS A FATHER OF THREE U.S. CITIZEN CHILDREN WHO ARE LIVING WITH THEIR REFUGEE MOTHER IN KENYA.
His wife’s waiver and visa are pending. They had no opportunity to submit information about why they qualify for a waiver. His wife is currently pregnant with their fourth child. Because his wife is a Somali refugee, she’s at risk of being arrested by Kenyan authorities and being deported.
JOHN DOE #1 IS A NATIVE-BORN U.S. CITIZEN OF LIBYAN HERITAGE.
He sought a visa for his elderly parents, whose living situation in Libya has become increasingly dire as the country has become less stable. He is devastated that his parents’ visas have been refused due to the Muslim ban.
ON JULY 18, 2018, MAHMOOD SALEM, A 31-YEAR-OLD YEMENI-AMERICAN U.S. CITIZEN, DIED BY SUICIDE WHEN HIS WIFE AND TWO ELDEST CHILDREN WERE DENIED VISAS BECAUSE OF THE MUSLIM BAN.
He and his family were facing overwhelming psychological, physical, and financial stress due to their inability to obtain waivers so they could reunite in the U.S. Unable to return to war-torn Yemen, the family stayed in Djibouti, where their visa interview had taken place. The rent in Djibouti is six times higher than rent in Yemen. He borrowed $7,000 to support them, but that still didn’t make ends meet. His children were sick from bug bites and rashes due to Djibouti’s hot climate. Five days after Salem’s suicide, his wife and two eldest children were issued waivers — too late to attend his funeral.