Newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden has reversed placed on some Muslim countries by former US president Donald Trump in January 2017. Citizens of Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen were banned from entering the United States following the ban.
“When visa applicants request entry to the United States, we will apply a rigorous, individualized vetting system. But we will not turn our backs on our values with discriminatory bans on entry into the United States,” a proclamation posted to the White House website on Wednesday January 20, 2021 says.
At the time of the ban, the Trump administration said the policy was designed to tighten security for countries that don’t comply with the US minimum security standards or cooperate to prevent illegal immigration.
But the Biden administration, which campaigned partly on a message of diversity, is seeking to re-open America to the world.
In the same vein, Biden has also dropped a Trump policy that restricted the granting of immigrant visas to Nigerians as well as reinstating Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians, which was lifted by the former administration.
In January 2020, Trump had expanded curbs on immigration to include six more countries, including Nigeria, in addition to set a March 30, 2021 date for Liberians who have sought refuge in the US since the 1990s to leave.
The police reversals are part of a 10-day series of executive actions intended to overturn key Trump policies without waiting for Congress, on topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change and criminal justice, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
Biden has halted the US exit from the World Health Organization and stopped construction of a wall on the Mexican border. He has also committed the United States to rejoining the Paris climate accord. The US president is expected to lift other immigrant travel bans imposed by the previous administration.