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New Countries Added to the Travel Ban List

The federal government extended its travel ban to immigrants of three additional countries over the weekend. The countries added to the original list of countries are Venezuela, North Korea, and Chad. Sudan, which was on the original travel ban list, has since been removed from the list. The addition of these countries to the travel list will mean tight restrictions for immigrants from these countries trying to enter the United States.

The reasoning for adding these countries to the travel list has been reported to be a failure by the governments of these countries to cooperate with the United States in terms of providing information on potential travelers. Specifically, the information that the U.S. government seeks from foreign governments about potential travelers has to do with the traveler’s criminal past or ties to terrorist organizations. The government uses this information to screen travelers before granting them permission to enter or remain in the United States.

Having a criminal record may affect a person’s ability to enter into the United States, even if the person is only planning on temporarily visiting the country. If a person has numerous misdemeanors, or has been previously convicted of what is referred to as a crime of moral turpitude, or of trafficking controlled substances, the person is not likely to gain admission into the country. Depending on what kind of criminal record a person has, he may be able to obtain a waiver from the United States embassy or consulate in their country in order to travel to the United States.

One category of traveler who will always face obstacles when coming into the United States is anyone connected to a terrorist organization. There are many organizations in many countries that are regarded as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. A person’s suspected connections to these groups increases the background checks that must be performed before letting the person travel to the United States. There are no waivers available for a person who is denied entry into the United States on the basis of connection to a terrorist group.

The effects of the revised travel ban are yet to be seen, and therefore, it is hard to tell whether there will be additional legal challenges to the addition of the new countries, or to the government’s reasoning for adding them. The United States Supreme Court is yet to make a final ruling on the constitutionality of the travel ban.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney

If you are in the United States, have been convicted of crimes in the United States or in another country, it can interfere with your ability to remain in the United States, and you need to contact an immigration attorney before filing to change your status. Similarly, if your family member or loved one is seeking entry into the United States but has a criminal record, you need to contact an experienced immigration attorney to discuss how the convictions could affect the person’s entry into the country.

For more information, contact our multi-lingual staff to speak to experienced immigration attorney Nathan Wei from Strassburg, Gilmore & Wei, LLP, in Pasadena, California.


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