World

This Is How Donald Trump’s Travel Ban Will Impact These Seven Countries

The Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on Tuesday, claiming that the president has the right to restrict travel from several Muslim-majority countries.

In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court rejected the argument that the travel ban was motivated by hostility toward Muslims. “The [order] is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices," Roberts wrote. "The text says nothing about religion."

The ban includes two countries that are not majority Muslim. People from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen will all be impacted by the final version of the ban. The ruling provides some leeway for foreigners who can prove they have a relationship with a person or entity in the United States. In some cases, that includes individuals with U.S. job offers or an offer of admission to a U.S. school.

Immigrant visas, however, have been suspended entirely for Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Meanwhile, certain government figures from Venezuela will be prohibited from obtaining an immigrant visa.  

All visas, even nonimmigrant visas, will be off-limits to people from Syria or North Korea. Nevertheless, individuals from Iran can obtain a student visa to attend an institute of learning in the U.S., according to the travel ban. Business and tourist visas for people from Libya and Yemen are also suspended.

Some reports say the ruling could embolden Trump to add more countries to the list. Previous versions of Trump’s travel ban had been modified after being challenged in federal court and had included Iraq, Sudan and Chad. The newest version claimed to only target countries that have insufficient screening processes for individuals traveling abroad.

Critics of the travel ban argue that the decision will negatively impact many foreigners who are already living in the U.S.

“This decision today is a devastating blow to thousands of Muslim families…. The proclamation and its prior versions have torn families apart,” Mariko Hirose, litigation director for the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), told reporters Tuesday.

Mohamad Mashta, one of the plaintiffs in a previous lawsuit IRAP brought against Trump, described how his family struggled before his wife, a Syrian national, was allowed to join him in the U.S. Her visa had been temporarily restricted under a previous iteration of the travel ban. 

“My life was full of worry that my wife and I would not reunite again,” Mashta said. “My wife’s father and siblings still cannot visit us.”