Democrats criticized the White House announcement that the United States will add six more countries to a controversial travel ban that originally was called a “Muslim ban” by the left, and that Joe Biden on Saturday called a new “African Ban.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the charge in opposition to the travel ban expansion, describing it as “discrimination disguised as policy.”
“The Trump administration’s expansion of its outrageous, un-American travel ban threatens our security, our values and the rule of law,” her statement reads. “The sweeping rule, barring more than 350 million individuals from predominantly African nations from traveling to the United States, is discrimination disguised as policy.”
To no one’s surprise, she added that Democrats will do all in their power to resist the president. “In the Congress and in the Courts, House Democrats will continue to oppose the Administration’s dangerous anti-immigrant agenda. In the coming weeks, the House Judiciary Committee will mark-up and bring to the Floor the NO BAN Act to prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration system and limit the President’s ability to impose such biased and bigoted restrictions.”
On Friday, Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told reporters that after a “systematic review” of all countries, six nations were added to the travel ban list: Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.
Today @POTUS signed a proclamation issuing tailored travel restrictions on 6 countries that currently fail to meet the minimum US security standards set by this Administration. Through this action, we are raising the baseline of security around the world. https://t.co/lrlXZDvqB2
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) January 31, 2020
Prior to this latest expansion, restrictions on immigrant and non-immigrant visas were in place for seven countries, to include Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.
After enduring multiple court challenges to the original travel ban, the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality in 2018.
According to Wolf, the additional six nations have lighter restrictions than the original seven. “These countries, for the most part, want to be helpful, want to do the right thing, have relationships with the U.S. and are in some cases improving relations, but for a variety of different reasons failed to meet those minimum requirements that we laid out,” he said. “And really the only way to mitigate the risk is to impose these travel restrictions.”
Criteria involved in assessing travel risks from 200 countries included to what extent they share information on passports and prospective bad actors, as well as whether a nation poses a high national security risk in relation to crime, terrorism, and illegal immigration.
Restrictions for Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria will be placed on immigrant visas, for those seeking to live or work in the U.S. permanently. For Sudan and Tanzania, the restrictions are being placed on diversity visas that result from the diversity lottery program that randomly grants visas to prospective immigrants each year.
Going forward, comprehensive reviews will take place every six months, providing a “robust off-ramp” for those countries that improve their security and cooperation levels with the U.S.
Several 2020 Democrat candidates for president took advantage of the opportunity to voice their latest outrage against President Trump that the expanded travel ban presented them.
Elizabeth Warren called it a “racist, xenophobic Muslim Ban” and promised to reverse it if she is elected.
Trump just expanded his racist, xenophobic Muslim Ban to ban 6 more countries—including Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa.
Congress must pass the NO BAN Act. And if they don’t, I’ll reverse the Muslim Ban on the first day of my presidency. https://t.co/ZfcYfidaEz
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 1, 2020
Bernie Sanders claimed the ban is a “racist travel policy that dehumanizes immigrants and their families for [Trump’s] own political purposes.”
It is outrageous that Donald Trump continues to push a racist travel policy that dehumanizes immigrants and their families for his own political purposes.
On day one of my administration, I will overturn this xenophobic and discriminatory ban. https://t.co/ihVEFGxvno
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 31, 2020
Joe Biden called the ban a “direct betrayal of America’s most fundamental freedom: religious freedom.”
Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is a direct betrayal of America’s most fundamental freedom: religious freedom. And now he’s adding more countries to his list of who’s not welcome in America.
It’s not who we are — and we’ll prove that when we beat Trump this November and end the ban. pic.twitter.com/qdlU5P7MZQ
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) January 31, 2020
Biden subsequently added another race-baiting tweet, saying the expanded ban is an “‘African Ban,’ … designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States.”
Trump further diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new “African Ban,” is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed. https://t.co/oePD5eSAWY
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) February 2, 2020
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