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What is Proclamation 9983?

On 1/31/20, the Administration announced Proclamation 9983 and issued a press release adding six countries to an already existing list of countries whose nationals are subject to certain visa restrictions, pursuant to Proclamation 9645, which the President initially issued on September 24, 2017.

What does Proclamation 9983 do?

It orders that the U.S. will not grant immigrant visas for people from Burma/Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria. It will suspend participation of people from Sudan and Tanzania in the Diversity Visa Program. The restrictions will not apply to tourist, business or other nonimmigrant travel.

When does Proclamation 9983 come into effect?

The effective date for Proclamation 9983 is February 21, 2020.

What is the Administration’s explanation for restricting U.S. visas for certain nationalities?

The Administration established a process to identify countries believed to have high levels of national security and public safety concerns, and also countries that do not provide enough information to the US Government to determine whether visa applicants from those countries are a threat to U.S. public safety or national security. Proclamation 9645 and 9983 are examples of the Administration carrying out that process.

What impact does Proclamation 9983 have on refugees, asylees, torture survivors, those granted withholding of removal OR refugees seeking resettlement, people seeking asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture?

People from these six restricted countries are not subject to the Proclamation 9983 restrictions if they are refugees, asylees, those granted withholding of removal or Convention Against Torture status; or those seeking such protections, or if family members are being reunited through one of these refugee related processes.

What impact does Proclamation 9983 have on families seeking family reunification outside the refugee process?

If a refugee or any individual has become a legal permanent resident or citizen and is seeking unification of a family member outside of refugee processes, for example, through an I-130 petition, such family members from banned countries will be unable to reunify under Proclamation 9465 and 9983, unless they receive a waiver for “undue hardship.” Such waivers have reportedly rarely been granted.

What has USCCB stated about Proclamation 9983 and previous, related executive actions?

USCCB continues to oppose the Administration’s blanket restrictions of migration from certain countries. USCCB/MRS has supported the NO BAN Act, a bill that would vacate Proclamations 9645 and 9983, among other executive actions. Additionally, USCCB submitted an Amicus to the U.S. Supreme Court case reviewing Proclamation 9645, deeply concerned that Proclamation 9645 undermines religious liberty. Most recently, on February 2, 2020, USCCB/MRS led a Catholic organizational statement opposing Proclamation 9983. The statements have also expressed deep concern about how the Proclamations negatively impact family reunification.