Monday, September 25, 2017

Travel Restrictions on Venezuelans

Donald Trump added Venezuela to the list of countries with travel restrictions. The wording is as follows:

The government in Venezuela is uncooperative in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public-safety threats; fails to share public-safety and terrorism-related information adequately; and has been assessed to be not fully cooperative with respect to receiving its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States. Accordingly, the entry into the United States of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas is suspended.
Three things come to mind.

First, media stories lump Venezuela in with North Korea, Syria, etc. but it's a totally different case. It is highly targeted and Venezuela is not a military threat.

Second, as result of #1, it's a good bet that adding Venezuela was simply a way of claiming the original ban wasn't aimed at Muslims. The ACLU has already mentioned this.

Third, this isn't actually a policy change. It's an expansion of existing sanctions, or at least appears to be since I haven't seen how many Venezuelans were added to the list.

Update: quoted in this Bloomberg article on the topic.


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