Travel ban could take effect Thursday; migration expert and travelers weigh in

Written by: Sabrina Wilson, Reporter [WVUE]

A portion of President Trump’s controversial travel ban could be implemented Thursday, and travelers and a local migration expert weighed in on whether it could be effective in keeping Americans more safe.

"It was great, you know, I felt very safe the whole time I was traveling, flying, airports," said Donna Maques, who just traveled from Amsterdam.

She was honest about her own concerns about terrorism.

"When people are boarding the plane, you find yourself looking around at anyone to see if there's something about the person that makes you feel not too comfortable, and things like that,” said Marques.

In anticipation of the implementation of a portion of President Trump’s revised travel ban, federal agencies did not allow much when contacted Wednesday.

“We continue to work with the Departments of State and Justice on the way forward for implementation of the Executive Order based on the Supreme Court's ruling. We’ll release additional information tomorrow,” said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Earlier this week the Supreme Court said the 90-day ban on visitors from six majority Muslim countries, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen entering the U.S. could be enforced, at least for now, unless the travelers have bona fide relationships with a person or entity in the U.S.

Another traveler who flies abroad likes the idea.

"If they're coming from a problem country like that, I mean fly a lot so, I don't want to get blown out of the sky… so I think it's a good idea,” said Richard Barrera.

"I don't think anyone should be profiled, but I think it should be everyone. When I travel to a foreign country I have to prove I'm going over there just for leisure, or whatever,” said Marques.

When the president's initial travel ban went into effect back in January with little warning, many airports around the country experienced a lot of chaos and confusion. Some think implementing a portion of the ban now will result in the same.

"I think there's definitely going to be some confusion about what a bona fide relationship means,” said Dr. Susan Weishar, a Mitigation specialist and Fellow at the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University.

Dr. Weishar has worked to resettle refugees, but she does not think they will be significantly impacted by the part of the travel ban that is to take effect.

"If somebody has a relative in the United States, they could come to accept a job, to attend a university or to deliver a speech at university…It's really not clear how this travel ban is going to affect anybody but perhaps a small group of tourists, at this point,” said Weishar.

She said refugees normally meet the criteria of having bona-fide relationships.

"The most vetted people to come into our country are refugees…I don't think that it makes us safer at all,” Weishar stated.

Trump called the Supreme Court’s decision “a clear victory for our national security.”

Some travelers agree.

"Lil safer, yeah, I think it will,” said Barrera.

The Supreme Court will not hear oral arguments on the entire travel ban the president wants until October.

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