In fulfillment of his promised to end discrimination of nationals allowed into the United States, President Joe Biden has ordered the resumption of visa processing in countries his predecessor, Donald Trump banned.
Biden, in his first executive orders, on Wednesday cancelled the ban.
In the last three years, the Trump administration slammed travel and immigration ban on a number of countries.
After adjustments on about three occasions, more than a dozen nations were placed on the ban list.
While some were outrightly stopped from applying for any type of category, visas that could lead to immigration were stopped in Nigeria and others.
All thirteen are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.
In details of the “Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States” , Biden said America was built on a foundation of religious freedom and tolerance.
He noted that the previous administration enacted orders that blocked certain individuals “first from primarily Muslim countries, and later, from largely African countries”.
Condemning the actions, Biden said they “are a stain on our national conscience and are inconsistent with our long history of welcoming people of all faiths and no faith at all”.
The President said the decisions jeopardized America’s global network of alliances, partnerships, separated loved ones and inflicted pain that will ripple for years to come.
“They are just plain wrong. Make no mistake; where there are threats to our Nation, we will address them. Where there are opportunities to strengthen information-sharing with partners, we will pursue them.”
Biden said though there will apply a rigorous, individualized vetting system, the U.S. will not turn its backs on our values with discriminatory bans.
Revoking the Trump orders, Biden directed resumption of visa processing and clearing the backlog of cases in waiver processing.
His proclamation reads: “The Secretary of State shall direct all Embassies and Consulates, consistent with applicable law and visa processing procedures, including any related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to resume visa processing in a manner consistent with the revocation of the Executive Order and Proclamations specified in section 1 of this proclamation.”
The Secretary of State will in 45 days present to the President, the number of visa applicants who were being considered for a waiver of restrictions and a plan for expeditiously adjudicating their pending applications.
Individuals whose immigrant visa applications were denied on the basis of the suspension and restriction on entry will have their applications reconsidered.
Biden ordered that visa applicants must not prejudice as a result of a previous visa denial due to the suspension and restriction on entry if they choose to re-apply for a visa.
The government will carry out a review of information-sharing with nations worldwide to ensure screening and vetting individuals seeking entry to the U.S.
The proclamation further approves a review of social media identifiers used for screening and vetting process.