Scrutiny Mounts On Travel Orders

Apr 13, 2017

The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed 13 lawsuits requesting government documents regarding the president’s travel orders.

Protest after the initial executive order was signed in January.
Credit Michael Gianaris /

Ches Thurber is a professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. He says the travel orders don’t necessarily translate to more effective vetting practices.

“Already the processes in place both for refugees, as well as for visas, are pretty tough. In order to get a visa, it requires showing up at the U.S. embassy and going through a pretty rigorous process of interviews and vetting. For refugees, the standards are even higher; it’s a twenty-step process,” he said.

Although the travel orders made entry from some places more difficult, Thurber says the main legislation outlining vetting processes has not changed.

The orders were recently blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii, and their effectiveness has been question by some.

Thurber says it’s not clear what the administration wanted to achieve through the orders.

“We haven’t really heard word on what the process or what deliberations have been, in terms of what the administration sees as the ideal long term goal. The emphasis really has been over what were supposed to be temporary travel bans, and we don’t really know what the administration envisions to come afterwards,” he said.

A U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to review the second version of the travel orders next month.