As many of you will know, there have been 3 versions of the travel ban. There have been various blocks placed on each of the travel bans, and it is quite difficult to keep up with the current status. So – I thought a recap of the current state would be helpful. However, this is almost more confusing than I can explain, so I have been avoiding an update for the last couple of weeks.
Travel ban 3.0 was introduced in September. It was timed and designed to pick up where Travel Ban 2.0 left off, but by re-crafting the ban wording, trumps’ administration sought to represent this ban as something new. This was a clear attempt to halt the various blocks that were heading to the supreme court. Travel Ban 3.0 was worded well – and, at least on the face of it, laid out a credible argument why certain countries were being singled out for the ban – making the case the ban was about the security of the USA. In reality this was a thinly disguised version of the anti Muslim sentiments Trump had laid out during the Presidential campaign. The bans have each been more about that than any sensible reasoning.
However, Travel Ban 3.0 was about to go in to full force on October 17th when a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the ban again. From October 17 to November 13, there was, in effect, no ban at all. Then on November 13 the administration achieved a partial victory when an appeal court suspended the effect of the Hawaii ruling, effectively re-instating the ban EXCEPT where people can prove a oa fide relationship (something that was part of Travel Ban 2.0, not Travel Ban 3.0).
So – in simple terms DV lottery winners from (“nationals of”) the affected countries (Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen) are banned unless they have dual citizenship with a non banned country OR can prove they have a bona fide relationship with a US resident. This is pretty well described in the official State Department statement which can be seen here. The way in which the relationship is not described, but the statement does say the relationship must be “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading suspension of entry”. So I expect anyone trying to argue they have such a relationship to have to prove that relationship with birth certificates, and other official and non official documentation. It won’t be simple.
The article also defines what is meant by the person with whom the relationship must exist. The article says that a “Person” is defined as a parent, including parent-in-law, spouse, fiancé, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, and first-cousin. For all relationships, half or step status is included (e.g., “half-brother” or “step-sister”).
There are hearings scheduled in early December to re-open arguments about the ban and attempt to block it. Trump has today re-demonstrated his staggering clumsy idiotic stupidity by retweeting anti Muslim propaganda from a far right organization in the UK. This will certainly be ammunition against his ban because the argument against the ban is that the ban is about religious animus toward people of the Muslim faith, as opposed to legitimate and sensible attempts to make the USA more secure/safe. Only a complete idiot would provide further evidence of that animus just days ahead of the hearings. Trump is indeed that complete idiot.
So the case heads back to court next week – but I don’t know how long the next phase will take or what the outcome will be.
Impact on DV2018
This is difficult/impossible to guess. This is all new and I am not comfortable making guesses about what the ban will mean if allowed to continue. PLEASE understand I really don’t know what is going to happen about the ban itself OR the impact on DV2018 or future lotteries. As frustrating as it is to hear (and to write), “wait and see” is the only sensible thing I should write. No one can predict the outcome. Someone that says they can, is ignorant of the complexities involved. So – now, more than ever, if you are affected by this ban, please be patient and let the court cases play out. Hopefully this will be resolved soon.