Is the Travel Ban Actually A Massachusetts Travel Ban?
Is the travel ban actually a massachusetts-style travel ban?
It’s been nearly two years since Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced he would end the state’s long-standing ban on people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen entering the state.
But a new study released Thursday suggests that if the ban was extended beyond Boston and Boston Logan International Airport, the number of people affected could be higher than previously thought.
The Boston Globe reports the new analysis, which is based on data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, found that if Baker’s executive order had been in place from Jan. 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019, about 5 million people from the seven countries who had been living in Massachusetts would have been able to travel to the United States.
But the ban is only in place for about 300,000 people from those countries who are currently in Massachusetts.
So even if the bans expanded to include the rest of the state, the actual number of those affected would have decreased.
This means that some people could still visit the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but they wouldn’t be able to get to the U.S. “That number of travelers from these seven countries would have grown,” said Robert G. Zirkelbach, a Boston University epidemiologist and the lead author of the study.
The authors say they expect the number to go up as the ban continues to be enforced.
The report was published online Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has sued the Trump administration over the ban.
“Massachusetts residents who have been affected by the executive order will continue to be subjected to heightened scrutiny, heightened cost, and heightened risk,” the ACLU said in a statement.
“These are all issues we are concerned about and we are confident that the courts will uphold the executive orders mandate and uphold the ban on citizens of these seven nations.”
But the report comes as Baker is facing criticism for not providing more detail about what would happen if the travel restriction was expanded to cover the entire state.
Baker told the Boston Globe that the federal government had asked for information about the scope of the travel restrictions and that he didn’t provide it.
He also said that the Department of Homeland Security and Massachusetts Department, not the Department and State, would determine the scope.
Baker said that he wasn’t consulted by the federal Department of Justice about the study, which was conducted by the Boston University Center for Research on Immigration and Resettlement.
Baker has also faced criticism from Massachusetts residents who said the travel order was too broad.
On Twitter, residents of Boston called on Baker to step down from office and urged the governor to reconsider.