New Travel Ban Calls Into Question Our Commitment to Basic American Principles

January 31, 2020

WASHINGTON—Citing national security concerns, the Trump administration announced today the expansion of travel restrictions to the United States to nationals of six countries. The new travel restrictions suspend the issuance of immigrant visas to nationals from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and Nigeria, and bans nationals from Sudan and Tanzania from participating in the diversity visa program.

The announcement comes three years after the administration blocked travel and imposed severe restrictions on immigration to nationals of seven countries, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, North Korea, and Venezuela. The five Muslim-majority countries covered by the last ban represent over 150 million people. 353 million people in six new countries now find themselves targeted by today’s ban.

The following statement is from Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council:

“The new ban blocking immigration from six nations is unnecessary and un-American. We decided long ago that the United States does not exclude people based on where they were born or what religion they belong to. These policies call into question our commitment to those principles.

“Preventing people from joining their family in the United States solely because of the country in which they were born—or the religion they practice—violates basic American ideals. Like the last travel ban, today’s new ban will force couples to live apart, separate parents from their own children, and will force some Americans to abandon the United States just to avoid being separated from their loved ones.

“The Trump administration’s earlier travel ban was also cloaked in the mantle of national security, but instead, needlessly divided families. It has yet to demonstrate any meaningful value as a national security tool. This new ban is an extension of this misguided policy.

“When he signed the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, President Johnson declared that ‘never again’ will discrimination on the basis of national origin ‘shadow the gate to the American Nation with the twin barriers of prejudice and privilege.’ Unfortunately, today’s ban restores that very same discrimination.”


For more information, contact:

Maria Frausto at the American Immigration Council, [email protected] or 202-507-7526.

Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
[email protected]

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