The Stream

Has Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ achieved anything?

Officials are planning to expand a controversial policy that has severely curbed travel to the US from five mostly Muslim-majority countries.

On Tuesday, January 28, 2020:
It’s been three years since President Donald Trump announced plans to ban citizens of five Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The policy applies to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well North Korea and Venezuela.

Trump confirmed this month that he will soon expand his controversial ban to other nations because “our country has to be safe.” The list is not yet final, but is widely reported to include Nigeria, Sudan, Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and Tanzania. Reaction to the potential move has ranged from shock to anger to bafflement.

Meanwhile thousands of people continue to feel the impact of the current ban, which first took effect in early 2017. The policy has severely curbed travel to the US for citizens of the affected countries, and very few waivers have been granted. This is despite a pledge by officials to issue visas to close family members of US citizens and for humanitarian purposes.

Administration officials have hailed the ban as “profoundly successful,” insisting it has made the US safer and raised “the security baseline around the world.” But detractors argue that imposing blanket bans has only hurt the US’s soft power and pushed some nations closer to Russia and China.

In this episode we ask, has Trump’s “Muslim ban” achieved anything? Join the conversation.


On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:


Debbie Almontaser, @DebbiAlmontaser
Activist and academic


Yomi Kazeem, @TheYomiKazeem
Journalist at Quartz Nigeria


Zahra Billoo, @ZahraBilloo
Civil rights lawyer

Read more:
Trump weighs travel ban expansion in coming days – Politico
Trump Administration Plans to Expand Travel Restrictions to Seven Countries – Wall Street Journal
Trump’s controversial travel ban set to add four more African countries—including Nigeria – Quartz

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