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USA ban on six muslim countries implemented from 28 June

29 June, 2017

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WASHINGTON: The US State Department has ordered all ports of entry to start implementing a ban on visitors from six Muslim countries after the US Supreme Court unanimously endorsed Trump administration’s controversial decision.

The implementation began on Wednesday evening, 72 hours after the verdict.

The ban applies to Muslim citizens from Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. President Donald Trump’s original order, issued on Jan 27, also applied to Iraq but it was later excluded because of US military presence in the country. The order also indefinitely halted refugees from Syria.

“With the objective of maximizing national security, the Department of State will implement Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” in an orderly fashion, consistent with the Supreme Court’s unanimous order, and in accordance with the Presidential Memorandum issued on June 14, which directs us to begin implementation 72 hours after the stay,” said a statement issued in Washington.

On Monday, the Supreme Court allowed parts of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to go into effect while agreeing to hear oral arguments on the case this fall.

The court allowed the ban to go into effect for foreign nationals who lack any “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States”.

Examples of formal relationships include students accepted to US universities and an employee who has accepted a job with a company in the US, the court said.

President Trump called the decision “a clear victory for our national security”.

“As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm,” he said in a statement. “I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.”

The Department of State said it will provide additional details on implementation after consultation with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. “We will keep those travelling to the United States and partners in the travel industry informed as we implement the order,” it said.

Since the Supreme Court exempted the relatives of legal US residents, including students, from the ban, it’s still unclear who and how many people will be affected by the decision. Human rights activists warned on Wednesday that the confusion was harmful, given the delicacy of the refugee process.

“We know that people are going to be hurt by this, and there will be a lot of disruption and dislocation,” said Lavinia Limón, president and chief executive of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, said in a statement.

“There are people told they were going to fly next week after waiting two years, who maybe sold their possessions and are all packed,” she said.

“It’s just cruel to imagine that after fleeing war and waiting years finally you’re ready to go next week and guess what? This is what happens.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has challenged the travel ban in court ,said the “bona fide relationship” clause applies to most successful visa applicants from the six countries.

“This order, properly construed, should really allow for only the narrowest implementation of any part of the ban,” Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s immigrants’ rights project, said at a news briefing.

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