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MUSLIM & AFRICAN BAN REVOCATION: WHAT IT MEANS FOR IMPACTED COMMUNITIES

 

Yesterday, President Biden signed a Proclamation ending the Muslim and African Bans. This Proclamation revokes Executive Order 13780 and Proclamations 9645, 9723, and 9983, which restricted entry into the United States for people from primarily Muslim and African countries and were rooted in Islamophobia and Racism.

 

Below is general information about what the Proclamation means, what to expect, and how you can help others.

 

Timing 

The Proclamation is effective January 20, 2021. 

  

What the proclamation means

The United States will no longer deny immigrant and nonimmigrant visas solely based on nationality to nationals of Eritrea*, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, Yemen.

 

*B1/B2 visitor visas from Eritrea were previously suspended under different guidance which remains in place.

 

WHAT TO EXPECt

The revocation of the Muslim and African Bans is unlikely to result in immediate solutions for those whose applications have been denied or are pending consideration of a waiver under the now revoked bans.

President Biden has directed the Department of State to submit a report with the following information within 45 days (March 6, 2021):

  • The number of people whose applications are being considered for waivers under the Bans and a plan for expediting these applications; 
  • A proposal to ensure that people who were previously denied visas under the Bans may have their applications reconsidered; and 
  • A plan to ensure that people whose visa applications were denied under the Bans are not denied visas in the future solely because of these previous denials. 

Additionally, President Biden has directed the Departments of State and Homeland Security to report on the effectiveness of the “extreme vetting” procedures put in place by the prior administration within 120 days (May 20, 2021). Under extreme vetting procedures, the United States government requires people applying for visas to submit information about their social media accounts, their siblings, and their work, employment, and travel history for the past fifteen years. It is unclear whether the President will reconsider, modify, or revoke the current practice of extreme vetting after May 20, 2021. 

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

If you have had an interview at a consulate abroad and were “refused” a visa under INA 212(f) you may contact the consulate and request that they reevaluate that decision in light of the Muslim Ban revocation.

If the consulate is not able to assist you, you can contact your elected representative and request that they intervene on your behalf. You can find your representative here

If you have not yet had an interview at the consulate, the Muslim and African Bans will not be applied when you are scheduled for an interview.  

 

COVID-19 Restrictions Affecting Immigration From Impacted Countries

President Biden has not yet revoked bans in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic that restrict immigrant and nonimmigrant visas . 

Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052, which suspended the entry of certain employment-based immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States in light of the COVID-19 pandemic are still in effect until March 31, 2021. You can find more information here.

Presidential Proclamations 9984 and 9992 are still in effect, which suspend entry into the United States of immigrants who have been physically present in China or Iran, in the 14 day period prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States, unless able to meet the criteria for an exception.

Finally, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, visa services are limited. Please contact the nearest consulate or embassy for more information. Applicants with an urgent matter who need to travel immediately may request an emergency appointment.  

 

 

How YOU CAN Help

Donate to CAIR Minnesota today. Your financial support ensure we are able to continue defending the Constitutional and Civil Rights of Muslims in Minnesota.

Support the No Ban Act, which if enacted would change immigration law to prohibit discrimination based on religion and limit executive authority to prevent any president from issuing future bans like the Muslim and African Bans. Visit www.repealtheban.org to sign the petition and call.repealtheban.org to contact your representatives in Congress to ask them to support the No Ban Act.

 

How to Get Legal Help

CAIR Minnesota provides information and legal services free of charge. Please contact CAIR Minnesota if:

  • You or someone you know was impacted by the revoked bans or is impacted by the revocation of the bans and would like information or assistance; 
  • Your community would like to request a virtual “Know Your Rights” presentation; or 
  • You or someone you know how been the victim of religious discrimination.

 

 

 

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