After banning asylum seekers from 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering USA, it seems President Donald Trump and his team are just getting started.
There are worrying signs that Trump’s initial #MuslimBan may be expanded to other countries. White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus. responded to CBS News during an interview, saying:
You can point to other countries that have similar problems like Pakistan and others – perhaps we need to take it further. For now, immediate steps, pulling the Band-Aid off, is to do further vetting for people traveling in and out of those countries.
List of Entry Banned Countries
President Trump signed an executive order on Friday to immediately halt the entry of people coming from:
- and Yemen
The entry ban is to be effective for at least 90 days although we can’t say for sure if it will last longer than that. The ban was enacted immediately causing confusion and problems among travelers coming from the aforementioned 7 countries.
Defending his position, Trump administration’s Chief of Staff said,
This was a promise that President Trump had made and it’s a promise that he’s going to keep. And he’s not willing to be wrong on this subject — we need to do our best to be vigilant and protect Americans.
Green Card Holders Will Also Be Detained
There’s another side to this ban as well. Valid green card holders (some of them having full citizenships) will also be detained if they belong from one of the seven banned countries. Priebus added that Customs and Border Patrol always had wide discretion when asking questions about the people coming to the United States.
There are reports Green Card Holders are being asked to share their social media history and personal opinions about the Muslim Ban policy.
“Not a Muslim Ban”
When asked whether this was the Muslim ban Trump had mentioned during his presidential campaign, Prebius said,
This is not a Muslim ban. All this is identifying the seven countries — and the reason we chose those seven countries is those were the seven countries that both the Congress and the Obama administration identified as being the seven countries that were most identifiable with dangerous terrorism taking place in their country.
In other words, even if Pakistan is not going to face a ban, Pakistanis traveling to USA will face ‘extreme vetting’ by the authorities. This may be subject to change in the future however, and there’s no telling if it will be for the worse or better.
It should also be mentioned that a US court has suspended Trump’s immigration ban for now.
Update: US has announced that Green Card Holders will be exempted from travel ban.