AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA: Latest Travel Ban Will Weaken Not Strengthen America

9/25/17 AILA Doc. No. 17092504. Admissions & Border, Consular Processing
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) expressed concerns that the new travel ban instituted by the Trump administration would fail to strengthen the country or national security. The indefinite bans immediately impact nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen with no bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity, and will take effect for all other impacted nationals of those countries, as well as nationals of Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, on October 18, 2017.

"The reputation of America as a welcoming country, one where immigrants are valued and can contribute in a meaningful way is in tatters," said Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President. "This new directive does nothing to shore up our nation's security. As with so many of the screening procedures touted by the Trump administration under the banner of 'extreme vetting,' there is no indication that this will do anything to improve the safety of Americans. These changes, which amount to nothing more than smoke and mirrors, will add unnecessary steps to our already robust visa screening procedures and ultimately will block or slow the entry of legitimate business, family, and other travelers."

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson commented, "The policy positions espoused by the administration in the past make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to trust that this latest ban on travel comes from true concerns regarding national security rather than anti-immigrant xenophobia. While those who currently hold valid visas should not be impacted, future immigrants as well as those seeking temporary visas will be blocked from reuniting with family, conducting business activities, and contributing to our economy through tourism. Simply put, the administration's policies, which stem from a repugnant campaign promise to 'ban Muslims,' will do nothing to make our country greater or safer."

Though exceptions and waivers are included in certain circumstances, the following countries and conditions are included in the proclamation:

New countries:

  • Chad: Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).
  • North Korea: Suspends the entry of all immigrants and nonimmigrants.
  • Venezuela: Suspends the entry of certain government officials and their family members on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).

Countries impacted by earlier bans which are included in this most recent proclamation:

  • Iran: Suspends the entry of immigrants and all nonimmigrants, except F (student), M (vocational student) and J (exchange visitor) visas, though they are subject to enhanced screening.
  • Libya: Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).
  • Somalia: Suspends the entry of immigrants, and requires enhanced screening of all nonimmigrants.
  • Syria: Suspends the entry of all immigrants and nonimmigrants.
  • Yemen: Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).
  • Iraq: Requires enhanced screening of all individuals seeking to enter the United States.

Nationals of Sudan, who were impacted by earlier versions of the travel ban, are not included in the proclamation.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.