Trump Is Planning A Travel Ban On “S**thole Countries”

Gage Skidmore / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The White House wants to block migrants from countries with the highest share, not highest number, of overstayed visas.

The White House is preparing to implement a travel ban targeting those from many of the countries that President Donald Trump once disturbingly called “shithole countries,” Slate reports.

According to a recent Trump administration order, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security have been told to hold countries that are responsible for a “disproportionate” number of “visa overstays” accountable. The order proposes to implement a travel ban on any country that has a visitor visa overstay frequency of over 10 percent.

The resulting list of countries that fall into this category are non-European states resembling those that the president labeled as “shitholes.”

“After a Supreme Court victory on the final version of this Trump campaign promise to carry out a Muslim ban, the administration has apparently realized that the key to implementing the president’s discriminatory policies is to use arcane regulatory language you might not notice to enact a backdoor ban,” Slate reports. “That’s precisely what’s going on in this latest case, if you look at the numbers.”

According to the most recent DHS estimate of overstay frequency by country, the nations affected by the White House order would be Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Palau, Micronesia, Georgia, in addition to 13 African countries including Sudan, Nigeria, and Liberia.

And while the 20 countries listed have high overstay rates, they account for, at most, just 7 percent of all visitor visa overstays in America. But the language used in the presidential order stated that the issue is “large numbers of aliens” that place “significant strain on [government] resources, which are currently needed to address the national emergency on our southern border.”

It seems extremely strange, then, that the White House is targeting countries that send the highest percentage and not number of overstaying visitors.

In terms of sheer volume, 20 countries contribute to 76 percent of all visitors overstaying their visas, but these contain predominantly white countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany in addition to South American,Caribbean, and Asian nations like Haiti, Brazil, China, India, and Mexico.

It would make more sense, then, to implement restrictions on countries responsible for the highest number of overstayed visitors, not the highest share, if reducing “strain” on government services and expenditures were the Trump administration’s sole intention.

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