WASHINGTON Tens of thousands of visas were
revoked under U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban affecting
seven Muslim-majority countries, the State Department said on
“Fewer than 60,000 individuals’ visas were provisionally
revoked to comply with the executive order,” said William Cocks,
a spokesman for consular affairs at the State Department.
Earlier news reports, citing a government attorney at a
federal court hearing, put the figure at more than 100,000
Cocks said the visas had been voided for now but may be
restored without travelers needing to apply again once the ban
“A provisional revocation means the Department of State has
invalidated a visa for use to travel to the United States and
apply for entry, but may restore the visa’s validity at a
subsequent time without requiring the traveler to submit a new
visa application,” he said.
“We will communicate updates to affected travelers following
the 90-day review,” Cocks added.
The immigration executive order signed by Trump a week ago
temporarily halted the U.S. refugee program and imposed a 90-day
suspension on people traveling from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia,
Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Trump said the measures would help
protect Americans from terrorist attacks.
Under President Barack Obama, Trump’s predecessor, the
United States added those seven countries as “countries of
concern” under its visa waiver program, effectively toughening
U.S. visa procedures for individuals who visited those places
during the past five years.
Trump’s executive order was at least in part informed by
those restrictions. The new president, who took office on Jan.
20, went further by temporarily barring passport holders from
those seven countries.
Under Trump’s order, people from the seven countries who
hold dual citizenship would be allowed to enter the United
States on the passport of a non-restricted nation.
The New America think thank says the largest majority of “jihadist terrorists” in the United States “have been American
citizens or legal residents.” It added none of the deadly
attackers since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks emigrated or came
from a family that emigrated from one of these countries.
Foreigners on the visa waiver program killed no Americans in
terrorist attacks in over 40 years, according to the CATO
Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.
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