In a blow to his predecessor Donald Trump’s actions to limit immigration, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday has ended the ‘Muslim travel ban’, which blocked travel to the United States from several predominantly Muslim and African countries.
Hours after taking the office, Biden on Wednesday signed 17 executive orders memorandums and proclamations including ending the Muslim travel ban.
He has directed the State Department to restart visa processing for individuals from the affected countries and to develop ways to address the harm caused to those who were prevented from coming to the United States because of the ban, The New York Times reported.
Implemented in 2017 during Trump’s first week in office, the Muslim Ban initially restricted travel from seven Muslim-majority nations: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The ban faced several legal challenges, but the Supreme Court in 2018 upheld the final version of the measure.
The Muslim travel ban so far restricts citizens from 12 countries — Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, Tanzania and North Korea — and some Venezuelan officials and their relatives from obtaining a broad range of US visas, NPR reported.
With another executive order, Biden has bolstered the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects from deportation immigrants brought to the United States as children, often called Dreamers.
Another executive order revoked the Trump administration’s plan to exclude non-citizens from the census count, and another overturns a Trump executive order that pushed aggressive efforts to find and deport unauthorised immigrants.
Biden has also halted construction of Trump’s border wall with Mexico. The order includes an “immediate termination” of the national emergency declaration that allowed the Trump administration to redirect billions of dollars to the wall.