The Supreme Court upheld a revised version of President Trump’s travel ban, in part, because the administration included a waiver system. Through the waiver process, people who were subject to the ban could still enter the United State if they met certain basic criteria, including demonstrating that the denial of travel would cause them an “undue hardship”.
Recently, the public has received some of the first actual data on how the waiver process is working. According to an exclusive report from Reuters, the United States government has only granted travel ban waivers in six percent of cases. Between December of 2017 and October of 2018, the State Department issued rulings on more than 37,000 waiver applications. Only 2,216 waivers were granted by the agency.
There are Major Concerns Over the Legitimacy of the Waiver Process
Many groups have raised serious concerns over the validity of the travel ban waiver process. Indeed, a lawsuit was filed against the Trump Administration in 2018 alleging that the waiver process is largely a sham; that it was created to help the policy survive a constitutional challenge in the nation’s highest court, but that it is not a fair process.
This new report from Reuters appears to bolster that claim. As United States Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) told reporters, the data is “clear” and “disturbing”. The waiver process is unfair, and few travel waivers are being granted. Further, we know little about the specific standards the State Department is using in reviewing these applications.
The Travel Ban Waiver Process is Shrouded in Secrecy
One of the most alarming aspects of the travel ban waiver process is that it is opaque. In fact, there is a near total lack of transparency. The standards are vague and the federal government has released little guidance on what an applicant needs to do to support their claim for a travel waiver.
An immigration lawyer from Massachusetts is quoted in the Reuters report as stating that she has often had a difficult time even getting the State Department to look at relevant supplemental materials that would support a case for a waiver.
If you or your loved one is seeking a travel ban waiver in Southern California, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced Los Angeles immigration lawyer. A lawyer will be able to review the specific circumstances of your case and help you take the proper steps to protect your legal rights.
Speak to Our Los Angeles, CA Immigration Lawyer Today
At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, we are proud to be strong and aggressive advocates for immigrants. If you have questions or concerns about travel ban waivers, our Los Angeles immigration lawyer can help. To get a confidential review of your case, please contact us today. With an office in Los Angeles, our law firm represents clients throughout Southern California, including in Long Beach, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach. Call (213) 262-2000.