Activists celebrated Biden's rescinding of the so-called 'Muslim ban' but vowed to keep fighting.
Trump travel ban
BBC News, Nairobi
The reversal of Donald Trump's travel bans by the new US president has been greeted with relief by many Somalis living in Kenya.
Somalia was among the first of mainly Muslim countries hit by the ban in 2017 – affecting refugees who were hoping to go to the US
Ali Mohammed, a Somali refugee living in Kenya for years after fleeing fighting in her homeland, hopes that the waiting will finally be over.Quote Message: I would like to appeal to President Joe Biden to fast track the resettlement process. We have been stuck here in the last five years. I have gone through the final interview in September 2016. Others have been waiting for resettlement since 2015.Quote Message: Some had to go back home with their bags from the holding area before their flights after the ban was announced. Trump has indeed messed up with our lives."
President Biden has also proposed to Congress a landmark policy document that will provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who do not have legal status in the US.
US President Joe Biden has begun to undo some of Donald Trump's key policies, hours after being sworn in, including ending the travel ban on some majority-Muslim countries and other African nations.
His proclamation said that the US “was built on a foundation of religious freedom and tolerance, a principle enshrined in the United States Constitution”.
“Nevertheless, the previous administration enacted a number of executive orders and presidential proclamations that prevented certain individuals from entering the United States - first from primarily Muslim countries, and later, from largely African countries.
“Those actions are a stain on our national conscience and are inconsistent with our long history of welcoming people of all faiths and no faith at all.”
Mr Trump signed a controversial travel ban just seven days after taking office as US president in January 2017, arguing it was vital to protect Americans.
People from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea were banned from obtaining any kind of visa. Chad was taken off this list in 2019. Last February, citizens of six more countries were barred from obtaining certain types of visas, including those from Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.
Mr Biden said the actions of Mr Trump’s administration had undermined national security.
“They have jeopardised our global network of alliances and partnerships and are a moral blight that has dulled the power of our example the world over. And they have separated loved ones, inflicting pain that will ripple for years to come. They are just plain wrong.”
But the new president said the US would still take threats to the country seriously.
“When visa applicants request entry to the United States, we will apply a rigorous, individualised vetting system. But we will not turn our backs on our values with discriminatory bans on entry into the United States.”
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By Ashitha Nagesh
US President Donald Trump is planning to add four African countries to the travel ban list, according to media reports.
The four countries are thought to be Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan and Eritrea, according to multiple US media outlets who reported they had spoken to people who had seen the list.
President Trump, in an interview with Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, confirmed that he was considering adding some countries to the travel ban list but declined to name them.
The list is not final and could be changed, the Politico website said.
The ban will not be a blanket one for all the listed countries but will be on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas.
The list is still being debated but the final announcement could be made next week, media reports said.
In September 2017, President Trump issued a travel ban prohibiting most people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from entering the US.
The ban was challenged in court but a Supreme Court ruling in June 2018 upheld it.
Donald Trump has welcomed a US Supreme Court decision in favour of his travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries.
Where will the US president go and what might greet him?
The White House adviser was one of the architects of the travel ban and other immigration policy.