Kristine L Ming

US: Israelis born in Muslim states not restricted by Trump travel ban

US visas for Israelis born in one of the seven predominantly-Muslim countries currently barred from entering the US remain valid despite new US travel restrictions, the American Embassy in Tel Aviv said Tuesday. 

Previously-issued US visas remain in tact as long as the visa holder does not concurrently hold a valid passport from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen. In a statement, the US embassy clarified that for such Israelis, “your visa was not cancelled and remains valid.”

“Similarly, we continue to process visa applications for applicants born in those countries, so long as they do not have a valid passport from one of those countries and have not otherwise declared themselves to be a national of one of those countries,” the embassy added. 

There are tens of thousands of Israelis born in Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya and Syria, and many of them have inquired how US President Donald Trump’s executive order barring citizens from those countries from visiting the US impacts on them. The other two countries on the list are Sudan and Somalia.

Both The US embassy and the Foreign Ministry have received numerous calls since Sunday from Israelis concerned that their visas will not be honored, or that they cannot apply for a visa.

The statement also clarified that final authorization to enter the US “is always determined at the port of entry.”

Trump issue the temporary ban on Friday that also indefinitely blocked all Syrians seeking refuge in the US, closing America’s gates to millions and forcing US law enforcement to immediately detain or turn away hundreds of visa holders and asylum seekers at its borders. 

Trump has long pledged to take this kind of action, making it a prominent feature of his campaign for the White House.

“The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law,” the executive order reads. Trump explained his decision at a signing ceremony at the Pentagon: “I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. We don’t want them here.”

Trump signed the order, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – a decision that riled American Jewish groups.

JMichael Wilner contributed to this article.

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