The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the third version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban Tuesday, with a 5-to-4 vote in favor of the legislation.
The ban now limits immigration of government officials from Venezuela and prohibits any person from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria or Yemen from entering the United States. Although there is a process to apply for a waiver to the ban, only 2 percent of applicants are able to obtain a waiver, according to Cara Jobson, an immigration attorney.
“A person who’s here as a student would have to be thinking about — in the rest of their life — are they going to face a lot of family separation because of this ban?” Jobson said.
According to Jobson, this version of the travel ban differs from the others because it has no scheduled end date. Previous versions of the ban specified a time span such as a “90 day review period.” The ban itself is lengthier and more detailed, but Jobson said she believes the length only attempts to conceal the fact that “it continues to be a cover for religious animus.”
Ivor Emmanuel, director of the International Office at UC Berkeley, said there are about 96 people at UC Berkeley who could be potentially impacted by this ban. UC Berkeley also has two students who have an H-1B visa and who cannot return to their homes in Iran at this point in time because of the ban, Emmanuel said.
In addition, students from these countries already face an intense “vetting” process when it comes to acquiring student visas, and the ban will make it even more difficult to obtain one, according to Emmanuel. This ban may encourage international students to choose other countries to study in, Emmanuel added.
“When these types of bans are implemented, they send a very clear message to the international community that perhaps they’re not as welcome to the United States,” Emmanuel said.
The Arab Resource and Organizing Center, or AROC, has previously planned protests against this ban, including an anti-travel ban protest at San Francisco International Airport in January 2017, and the organization plans to continue to fight this legislation, according to Lara Kiswani, the executive director at AROC.
Likewise, Goldman School of Public Policy professor Daniel Kammen said protesting is crucial to opposing the travel ban. He added that the Trump administration’s decisions have caused economic and political damage to the United States.
“The only option we have right now is to protest, to disobey, to resist these racist laws,” Kiswani said. “We can’t rely on the courts. The Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, has basically codified the Muslim ban.”