Muslim Ban Repealed

TAP cofounder Ahmed Rehab told the Chicago Tribune:
“The last four years brought so much agony that did not need to happen,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“Thousands of families were affected by this needlessly. Biden lifting the Muslim ban as one of his first executive orders feels like the right correction of that history.”
Rehab’s organization established a traveler’s assistance project to match lawyers to travelers who are “Muslim or Muslim-perceived” and who worried about being detained without cause.
“We saw a lot of agony,” Rehab said, “a lot of tears.”
Rehab said lifting the ban is a vote of confidence in America’s people and the systems it has in place to protect them.
“My take has always been, if we’re going to take on where you were born and what faith you have and your nationality as singular factors for whether you’re a security threat, we’re both selling our security short and hurting families needlessly,” Rehab said. “Do the work to figure out who’s a danger and who’s not. The ban was lazy, political red meat to the base. This is a correction.”
The ban, Rehab said, can be eliminated with a pen stroke. The sentiments that fed it and were stoked by it can’t.
“I’m not going to fool myself into thinking you sign a piece of paper and the culture and mentality changes overnight,” Rehab said. “But I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s the right step, absolutely.”
It’s a step closer to the promise of an America that embraces, protects and values people of all faiths, all backgrounds, all nationalities.


CAIR-Chicago Community Advisory: What You Need to Know About the Muslim Ban Repeal

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/21/21) – Yesterday, President Biden signed a proclamation ending the Muslim and African Bans. It repeals Executive Order 13780 and Proclamations 9645, 9723, and 9983, which were rooted in Islamophobia and anti-Blackness, and restricted entry into the United States for people from primarily Muslim and African countries.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes President Biden’s Day-One Termination of Muslim and African Bans, Other Executive Orders

In this advisory, a project of the No Muslim Ban Ever campaign, the CAIR-Chicago joins fellow coalition members in educating the public on what the Proclamation does and the work that remains to be done to undo the damage wrought by the Bans.

This advisory was drafted by the attorneys at CAIR-SFBA and Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus.


The Proclamation is effective January 20, 2021.

What the Proclamation Means:

The United States government will no longer deny immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to nationals of Libya, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Myanmar, Eritrea*, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, and Venezuela, solely because of their country of nationality.

What to Expect:

The rescission of the Muslim and African Bans will likely not result in an immediate solution for those whose applications have been denied or are pending consideration of a waiver under the Ban.

However, the President has directed the Department of State to submit a report with the following information within 45 days (March 6, 2021):

  1. The number of people whose applications are being considered for waivers under the Bans and a plan for expediting these applications;
    2. A proposal to ensure that people who were previously denied visas under the Bans may have their applications reconsidered; and
    3. A plan to ensure that people whose visa applications were denied under the Bans are not denied visas in the future solely because of these previous denials.

The President has also directed the Departments of State and Homeland Security to report on the effectiveness of the “extreme vetting” procedures put in place by the prior administration within 120 days (May 20, 2021). Under extreme vetting procedures, the United States government requires people applying for visas to submit information about their social media accounts, their siblings, and their work, employment, and travel history for the past fifteen years. It is unclear whether the President will reconsider the current practice of extreme vetting after May 20, 2021.

What You Can Do:

If you have had an interview at a consulate abroad and were “refused” a visa under INA 212(f) you may contact the consulate and request that they reevaluate that decision in light of the Muslim Ban repeal.

If the consulate is not able to assist you, you can contact your elected representative and request that they intervene on your behalf. You can find your representative here.
If you have not yet had an interview at the consulate, the Muslim and African Bans will not be applied when you are scheduled for an interview.

COVID-19 Restrictions Affecting Immigration From Impacted Countries:

President Biden has not yet rescinded the other bans restricting immigrant and nonimmigrant visas in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052, which suspended the entry of certain employment-based immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States in light of the COVID-19 pandemic are still in effect until March 31, 2021. You can find more information here.
Additionally, proclamations 9984 and 9992 are still in effect, which suspend entry into the United States of immigrants who have been physically present in China or Iran, in the 14 day period prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States, unless able to meet the criteria for an exception.

Finally, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, visa services are limited. Please contact the nearest consulate or embassy for more information. Applicants with an urgent matter who need to travel immediately may request an emergency appointment.

How to Get Help:

Contact CAIR-Chicago for information and questions about legal services free if:

* You or someone you know is impacted by this Muslim Ban and would like free legal advice or assistance;
* Your community or organization would like to request a “Know Your Rights” webinar.

How You Can Help:

Support the No Ban Act, which if enacted would change immigration law to prohibit discrimination based on religion and limit executive authority to prevent any president from issuing future bans like the Muslim and African Bans. Visit to sign our petition and to contact your representatives in Congress to ask them to support the No Ban Act.

* B1/B2 visitor visas from Eritrea were previously suspended under different guidance which remains in place.

Thank you to CAIR-SFBA and Advancing Justice for putting together this information!