Among the flurry of executive orders signed by President Biden last evening on his first day in the White House was a directive ending the U.S. ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries which was put in place by President Trump in January 2017.
The so-called Muslim ban, which did eventually include some non-Muslim countries such as North Korea and Venezuela, was subjected to a lengthy court battle but was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court.
The order signed by President Biden refers to the travel bans as “a stain on our national conscience” and “inconsistent with our long history of welcoming people of all faiths and no faith at all.”
In place of a travel ban, the Biden administration has directed the Secretary of State and Homeland Security director to review current screening procedures and information-sharing with other countries and provide recommendations for revising them within 120 days. Biden’s picks to head the State Department and Homeland Security, Tony Blinken and Alejandro Mayorkas, are still going through the Senate confirmation process.
ASAE opposed the travel ban when it was first issued, arguing that strong airport screening procedures were needed but should be balanced with the need to facilitate legitimate travel to the U.S. ASAE questioned whether the Trump administration was “making policy as a nation based on religion,” and urged the White House to confirm “our nation’s commitment to equality and humanitarianism.”