District judges in the states of Hawaii and Maryland issued separate rulings on Tuesday, October 17, partially blocking the new travel bans ordered by President Donald Trump affecting citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. Both judges ruled that the ban on travelers to the US from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Chad has the same constitutional issues as the previous versions and still specifically targets Muslims in violation of Constitutional protections against religious discrimination. The decisions do not affect the entry restrictions placed on citizens from North Korea and Venezuela. The new regulations affecting travelers from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Chad, which were scheduled to go into effect on Wednesday, October 18, have been put on a temporary hold while the debate of the bans proceeds through the court system. Justice Department officials said that they would appeal both decisions.
On Sunday, September 24, the US government announced a new set of restrictions on entry to the US by citizens of Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, in addition to the previously announced ban targeting citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. Under the newly proposed set of travel bans, the issuing of visas for immigrants, business travelers, and tourists from Chad was to be suspended until further notice; this order has been suspended as part of the October 17 decisions. However, a blanket ban on all North Korean citizens entering the country remains in place. The recently announced entry bans on some Venezuelan government officials and their families also remain in effect, although the ban does not apply to other Venezuelan citizens more generally.
US President Donald Trump has issued numerous executive orders regarding travel to the country since taking office in January. Many of the orders involved vague language and caused confusion and even chaos in airports, and many aspects of the orders have been overturned by the courts.
Travelers are advised to keep abreast of the situation and to contact their nearest US embassy or consulate for further details regarding visa and entry requirements.
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