Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban on seven blacklisted Muslim-majority countries has yielded abundant fruit as the Republican president expected.
Since the law was passed one week ago, about 100,000 visas have been canceled, the US State Department confirmed in a statement on Friday.
The statement clarified that all revoked travel visas will be differed on a temporary basis, adding that they “may be restored” in a the future without need for a new application.
William Cocks, a rep for Consular Affairs at the US State Department, said the executive orders will last for 90 days. During this time, the government will carry out a thorough review on the identities of all affected would-be immigrants.
“We will communicate updates to affected travelers following the 90-day review,” William said.
An earlier report from AP put the number of affected travelers at 60,000 but a lawyer from the US Justice Department who spoke about Trump’s anti-Muslim ban at a court hearing in Virginia said over 100,000 visas were canceled.
The higher figure includes diplomatic and other visas, including expired resident permits, the US State Department clarified on Friday.
Mr. Obama’s administration has been blamed for laxity on America’s immigration laws.
Trump’s State Department bemoans the fact that over 11 million immigrant and non-immigrant visas were issued by the past government in 2015.
“Fewer than 60,000 individuals’ visas were provisionally revoked to comply with the executive order,” William said in an earlier statement before the total number was contradicted by recent reports.
“We recognize that those individuals are temporarily inconvenienced while we conduct our review under the executive order.
“To put that number in context, we issued over 11 million immigrant and non-immigrant visas in fiscal year 2015.
“As always, national security is our top priority when issuing visas.”
Opinions are widely divided on Mr. Trump’s Muslimophobic ban although most Americans believe it’ll help Make America Great Again.
The executive order aims at protecting the U.S. from terrorist attacks.
Potential travelers from Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, will undergo a compulsory 90-day suspension while the American government reviews its alleged lax refugee program.
Under his visa waiver program, Mr. Barack Obama commendably added the blacklisted nations as “countries of concern.”
Mr. Trump however, unlike his predecessor, decided to gamble with a more radical approach on stiffening U.S. visa procedures for the seven Muslim-based countries which have been on “red alert” in the last five years.
According to a memo filed at a Massachusetts court on Trump’s “illegal” executive order, the president who took office on 20 January first instructed his State Department to revoke visas on 27 January.
Reports confirm that a series of lawsuits have been filed against the US government by individuals, civil rights groups and some states within the country, to protest the arrest and detention of travelers across airports since Trump’s discriminatory law took effect.
Reuters reported seeing a memo which contained information on how the immigration ban should be applied.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent out a letter to all of its employees on Feb. 2, saying the agency will continue in its effort to process all petitions and applications for US residents without fear or favor.
All applications for permanent residency and status adjustment can move forward, the memo added.
The executive order will not affect green card holders, a statement from the Department of Homeland Security clarified.
Anyone from the seven blacklisted countries who holds a dual citizenship are allowed to enter the U.S., if he/she has a valid passport from a non-restricted nation when the ban is lifted, according to a Feb. 2 guidance posted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website.
Le Pen, a National Front Leader in France, said she agrees with Trump’s immigration laws, describing it as a dream which can be brought to life in the European country.
“The whole world — it’s true of Brexit and it’s true for Mr. Trump — is waking up to what we’ve been saying for years,” Le Pen said as she hopes for victory with her far-right and anti-immigration party in the country’s upcoming presidential first-round election in April.