Renewed Travel Ban Issued
Less than one month after the Trump Administration’s “travel ban” was blocked by the U.S. courts, a new Executive Order was issued Tuesday. In many ways identical to the original ban, this Order suspends the US Refugee Program for 120 days. It also places the annual refugee admission quota at 50,000 persons and bars Syrians from the program altogether. The same travel bans blocks any citizens of six predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Unfortunately for most refugees, the annual U.S. refugee quota cut-off is September 30, and 35,000 of the 50,000 slots have already been used up. Even if refugee processing resumes in four months, it will likely be too late for most to make it to the US in fiscal 2017. Many of the most vulnerable LGBT refugees may not make it that long. Just like the initial executive order which ignited protests across the U.S., the new ban is likely to be opposed by many Americans, to whom discrimination based on nationality and religion is anathema. With the lives of thousands of refugees in the balance, time will tell whether the new Order is upheld in court.