President Donald Trump's new travel restrictions are prompting reactions from both sides of the debate in the U.S. over immigration.
Most travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen will be barred from entering the country. Some government officials and their families from Venezuela will also face new restrictions.
The administration says the new restrictions are more narrowly tailored and don’t impact legal, permanent residents or current visa holders.
But immigration advocates in the region are still voicing concern about the potential impacts set to kick in October 18.
Susan Church, an immigration attorney in Boston and former head of New England's American Immigration Lawyers Association, is particularly concerned that these new restrictions come with no expiration date.
“They've now set this up as an indefinite ban, which makes it worse for everybody. It's a mystery to me why the government simply cannot put in the enhanced security procedures that they need and go forward.”
The administration says the new regulations are necessary to maintain national security.
Steve Kropper, co-chair of the Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform, which advocates for aggressive immigration enforcement, says the travel order may not be perfect, but it’s an improvement.
“The challenge is to focus on the policy, and not the person. It looks like the policy is slowly careening towards the thoughtful and nuanced.”
This report comes from the New England News Collaborative, eight public media companies coming together to tell the story of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.