Calling them “just plain wrong,” President Biden on January 20 ended restrictions on the issuing of visas to individuals from many Muslim and African countries.

Under Biden’s new proclamation on ending discriminatory bans, Executive Order 13780 of March 6, 2017, and proclamations 9645, 9723 and 9983 are revoked and are no longer in effect.

Under the revoked measures, certain applicants from Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen were ineligible for immigration visas.

The U.S. Secretary of State has directed all embassies and consulates to process visa applications for individuals who were subject to the restrictions under the revoked proclamations. These visa applications will be processed consistent with current visa processing procedures related to COVID-19.

In line with the new proclamation, the U.S. Department of State will also develop a proposal over the next 45 days to ensure that individuals whose immigrant visa applications were denied or restricted by proclamations 9645 or 9983 have their applications reconsidered.

“When visa applicants request entry to the United States, we will apply a rigorous, individualized vetting system,” the Biden proclamation continued. “But we will not turn our backs on our values with discriminatory bans on entry into the United States.”

Banner image: The Statue of Liberty has long been a symbol for immigrants to the United States. (© Cla78/Shutterstock)