The United States’ ban on travellers from six Muslim-dominated nations came into effect late on Thursday. President Donald Trump’s administration has placed a 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The ban will be 30 days longer if one is a refugee, CNN reported.
The State Department will only allow “close family” of those in the US, from these countries. This does not include grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. It will also allow people with formal business relationships with a US entity, like those accepted to study or invited to speak at an institution.
This comes after the Supreme Court on June 27 had allowed certain parts of the ban to be implemented. On Thursday though, the state of Hawaii filed an emergency motion asking the top court to clarify that the state could not enforce a ban against fiancés or relatives not included in the State Departments definition of “bona fide” personal relationships.
This time around, immigration officials said they were prepared for a smooth rollout of the ban, AFP reported. “We expect business as usual at the ports of entry starting at 8 pm tonight,” a Department of Homeland Security official said. “Our people are well prepared for this.”
The ban has been scaled back since it was first implemented, and blocked by courts, in January. There were massive protests and a lot of confusion at US airports when Trump put the first ban in place, mostly because immigration officers were not allowing anyone in from certain countries, even those with legitimate reasons, even green cards and residence permits.
Trump has insisted the ban is to protect the US from terrorism and to allow immigration officials to vet those entering the US more closely, but this has been seen as part of an separate agenda. While campaigning for the presidency, Trump had called for a a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the US.