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January 31, 2017
Airports Maintain Normal Operations Amid Travel Ban Protests
On Jan. 27, the U.S. government issued an executive order banning citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the US for at least 90 days; all Syrian citizens are barred until further notice. The order also suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. The ban is designed to provide a window of opportunity for the government to strengthen its visa issuance procedures and to deter possible entry of militants planning acts of terrorism.

Key Judgments:
• DHS officials have stated that lawful permanent US residents (green card holders) will not be prevented from traveling to the US, but these travelers could still face additional security checks and processing delays at airports.

• Travelers from the blacklisted countries with visas who are currently in the US may not be able to return if they choose to leave.

• The Trump Administration has stated that more countries could be added to the travel ban via a presidential proclamation.

• Reciprocal travel restrictions are possible for US citizens traveling to the blacklisted countries.

• Organizations should consult with legal counsel regarding the potential impact on traveling employees.

• Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen currently in the US should not depart if planning to return within the next 90 days.

• If abroad, citizens of the impacted countries should consult with the local US diplomatic mission before attempting travel to the US for the next 90 days.

• Travelers to the US arriving from the impacted countries should prepare for increased scrutiny at US entry points for the foreseeable future.

In response, protests materialized at airports throughout the United States and even other parts of the world. Despite the protests, many airports reported that there were few, if any air travel delays, but extra traffic and congestion caused some passengers to miss their flights - take precaution and allow extra time.

Many airports are offering customers affected by the travel ban the chance to rebook their flights, waiving change fees or even offering full refunds.

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The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.

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