Thursday, February 02, 2017

Trump Travel Ban Will Not Apply To Israelis Born in Covered Nations

A refinement was announced yesterday to President Trump's Executive Order on entry into the U.S. of nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries.  The modification, which essentially carves out an exception for Jews from those nations now living in Israel, may strengthen arguments of opponents who contend that the Executive Order operates de facto as a "Muslim ban."  The U.S. Embassy in Israel yesterday announced:
Travelers with an existing valid visa in their Israeli passport may travel to the United States, even if they are also a national of or born in one of the seven restricted countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). Embassy Tel Aviv will continue to process visa applications and issue visas to eligible visa applicants who apply with an Israeli passport, even if born in, or a dual national of, one of the seven restricted countries. Final authorization to enter the United States is always determined at the port of entry.
According to The Forward, some 140,000 Israelis, most older than 65, were born in the 7 countries covered by the travel ban. Around 45,000 were born in Iran and 53,000 were born in Iraq. No doubt almost all of these are Jews who left Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East to move to Israel. (Background.)