News broke last night that with the stroke of a pen, U.S. President Donald Trump had blocked immigrants from a number of predominantly Muslim nations and halted the flow of refugees into the United States. Now Iran has responded by stating it will block all Americans from crossing its borders.
The Flow of Refugees Halted, Immigration Curbed
Via Executive Order, President Trump honored a campaign promise to–
- suspend entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days
- bar Syrian refugees indefinitely
- block entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries
Some in the groups above were already in transit to the USA and turned away at the border. Several passengers were reportedly denied boarding on an EgyptAir flight this morning from Cairo to New York. A handful of families have now been separated.
Iran is the first nation to respond and not surprisingly, has announced plans to ban Americans from its border. Calling the President’s plan an “open affront against the Muslim world and the Iranian nation”, the Foreign Ministry has said it will retaliate.
What Does This Mean for Travelers?
I’ll leave the politics to others, but am interested in what this news means for travelers. As we see with reciprocal visa fees, countries tend to respond tit for tat to barriers to entry. Will Americans soon be banned from much of the Islamic world?
If you happen to be traveling to any of the nations implicated by the President’s Executive Order with a U.S. passport, be ready to face more intense scrutiny at passport control, the potential denial of visas, or outright blocks…as we will soon see in the Islamic Republic.
Global politics has an acute effect on travelers who often get caught in the middle of diplomatic rifts. We become pawns used as bargaining chips and my point is this: traveling to many foreign lands may become more tedious and in some cases impossible for Americans in the coming months and years. Prepare yourselves.
And so much for IranAir resuming service to the USA anytime soon…