USA and the UK
US ‘Muslim Ban’ to End on Day One of Joe Biden Presidency
President-elect, Joe Biden, has vowed to rescind Donald Trump’s travel bans on travellers from 13 countries, most of which are either majority-Muslim or African nations.
When Mr Trump took office in 2017, he issued an executive order which banned travellers from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the USA.
The Trump administration amended the order on several occasions after legal challenges. The Supreme Court upheld a version of the order in 2018. The countries subject to entry restrictions have changed over the years of the Trump presidency.
“Rip the Poison of Hate from our Society”
According to policy experts, the bans could be undone easily as they were issued by executive order. However, any lawsuits from conservative politicians could delay the process.
Last month, president-elect Biden said that he would push politicians for laws to fight the surging number of hate crimes in the US.
Biden told the American people that:
“As president, I’ll work with you to rip the poison of hate from our society to honour your contributions and seek your ideas. My administration will look like America with Muslim Americans serving at every level… On day one, I’ll end Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban.”
“The Muslim Ban”
The “Muslim Ban” was a highly controversial imposition of travel restrictions on nationals of certain countries.
Through a series of executive orders, the Trump administration placed travel restrictions on those from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Soon after, Trump expanded the restriction list with the addition of Venezuela and North Korea, before adding Myanmar, Tanzania, Eritrea and Kyrgyzstan to the list.
President-elect Biden clearly stated his opposition to the ban:
“Muslim communities are the first to feel Donald Trump’s assault on Black and brown communities in this country, with his vile Muslim ban. That fight was the opening barrage in what has been nearly four years of constant pressure and insults.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is America’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, congratulated Joe Biden on his election victory on Saturday.
Nihad Awad, the CAIR’s national executive director, said:
“President-elect Biden has pledged to end the Muslim Ban on his first day in office, include Muslims at every level of his administration and address issues of racial and religious discrimination.”
He went on to say:
“We plan to join other American Muslim leaders and organisations in ensuring that the Biden administration fulfils these promises. We also plan to continue holding our government accountable when it errs.”
The Trump election campaign team were less than complimentary about Biden’s intentions, accusing Joe Biden of wanting to “end all travel bans, including from jihadist regions.”
They implied that Biden would allow “people that are going to come in and blow up our cities, do things”.
President-elect Biden currently has 279 electoral college votes, with 46 of 50 states declared. At the time of writing, Donald Trump is yet to concede.
President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to scrap the ‘Muslim ban’ on his first day of presidency. [Image credit: CNBC]
Nihad Awad, national executive director of CAIR [Image credit: Berkeley Center]