Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

IRC: Travel Ban Expansion Could Tear Families Apart


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds today to reports of the Trump Administration’s policy decision to expand the Travel Ban. The IRC fears this new expansion of the ban will block family members from reuniting with their loved ones in the United States. 

“The Travel Ban - in all its forms - has needlessly kept families separated by blocking access to tourist, business, and immigration visas. There is no evidence that individuals traveling from these countries present higher security risks,” said Olga Byrne, Director of U.S. Immigration for the International Rescue Committee. 

“From the first iteration of the Travel and the Refugee Ban to the administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ and ‘Remain in Mexico’ policies - the IRC has been serving separated families and other vulnerable groups that have borne the brunt of the Trump administration’s harmful policies.”

The previous iteration of the Travel Ban – the Trump Administration’s third attempt to craft a ban that would stand up in court – was issued in September 2017. It suspended immigrant and non-immigrant visas for citizens of the impacted countries (Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Libya). Over the last three years since the ban was in place, the IRC served countless families of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees, asylees and other lawfully admitted immigrants who have been forced to remain separated from their loved ones. 

The new policy reportedly adds nationals from Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria to the existing list of those barred from applying for immigrant visas, as well as blocking nationals of Sudan and Tanzania from the diversity visa lottery. The IRC provides legal services for immigration purposes to 15,000 individuals each year in the U.S. and has observed first-hand the devastating impact of prolonged family separation. The IRC has also observed the nearly insurmountable challenges to overcoming the Travel Ban through the case-by-case waiver process. 

This iteration of the Travel Ban is just the latest in a series of policy decisions that breaks with American tradition of keeping families together. Congress must pass the NO BAN Act (H.R.2214/S.1123) to prevent travel, refugee and asylum bans that cruelly and unnecessarily separate families. 


The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.

Pelosi and Hoyer to Progressives: Just Pretend Democrats Are Winning (Even If Corporate Lobbyists Are)

"If we don't act like we are winning, the American people won't believe it either," advised House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Jon Queally ·

Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves 'Rigged' Voting Maps

"We must protect our democracy with federal legislation immediately and defeat these cynical politicians at the ballot box."

Jessica Corbett ·

'An Act of Cowardice': 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation "a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work."

Brett Wilkins ·

The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·

'This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

"Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo