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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.

The Supreme Court to Rule on the Travel Ban

The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear a case involving the implementation of the travel ban proposed by the Trump Administration earlier this year. The travel ban was originally supposed to exclude people seeking to enter the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, from entering the country. This included visitors on travel visas, workers, students, and even those who had previously been vetted by the government and given permission to enter the United States. Refugees from all countries were to be banned from entry for a period of time.

While the Supreme Court will hear the full case later this year, it allowed the travel ban to go into effect restricting the entry of some people, but allowing those with “bona fide relationships” to the United States to be allowed entry. The problem that is developing with this ruling is that there was no exhaustive definition of what made up those bona fide relationships.

The Supreme Court did give some examples of the kinds of relationships that would meet the definition, but the rules that are developing are more restrictive than most people expected. In the examples of bona fide relationships, the Supreme Court listed close family members, students, and workers who have an offer of employment.

The new guidelines that have been issued by the administration following the court’s ruling have restricted close family members to people who belong to a traditional nuclear family, as well as some in-laws. This has excluded grandparents, cousins, and others who may otherwise have been close family members. Fiancées were later added to the list of those who would be allowed to travel to the country despite the ban. For people wanting to come into the United States with a bona fide relationship with an entity, the relationship has to be formal and long established, not a relationship created to avoid the travel ban.

Refugees will still remain largely restricted from entering the United States, but those with bona fide relationships will likely be allowed entry. For example, if a father already entered the United States as a refugee, his wife and children will not likely be affected by the ban. On the other hand, a family of refugees whose only tie is to an aid agency is unlikely to be allowed entry under current rules.

The new rules have cleared up some of the confusion that came with the implementation of the first travel ban. Therefore, those with legal permanent residence in the United States should not have any issues coming into the country, as well as those with student or work visas that were previously granted and are still valid.

Contact Us for Legal Assistance

More legal challenges are expected as the government begins to implement the new rules related to the travel ban. If you are concerned or confused about how the partial implementation of the travel ban will affect you or your family members in the six countries, contact our multi-lingual staff to speak to an experienced immigration attorney from Strassburg, Gilmore & Wei, LLP today.