How to travel safely in Arizona with Arizona Travel Restrictions
A recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that many Arizona travelers were denied entry to several foreign countries, including Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.
“There are a lot of places you have to go,” says Marlene Stumpf, the ACLU of Arizona’s senior legal counsel.
“I think that’s a real concern.”
The ACLU report found that at least 5,000 people were denied visas from countries including Egypt and Morocco, as well as Saudi Arabia and Jordan, where they were granted tourist visas.
These countries are home to the largest populations of people in the world who are not citizens of the U.S., which makes them vulnerable to being detained or deported.
“When you’re talking about people from all over the world and their ability to travel, you really have to consider how vulnerable they are,” says ACLU national immigration attorney Jessica Vaughan.
In some cases, travelers may be denied visas due to an “imminent security threat,” such as a terrorist attack.
But Vaughan says these situations are not the only reasons to limit the number of travelers to the U, or even just to the country.
“The more restrictive you make travel restrictions and the more restrictive the visa process is, the more vulnerable these people are to being picked up, and they are less likely to be able to get a visa,” Vaughan says.
The ACLU reports that over 90% of those denied visas are women and children, and many of those are women who travel with children.
“We are seeing this very troubling trend in the past few years with these women and girls,” says Vaughan.
“It’s not just an issue of women who are pregnant or who have children in this country who are having these issues.
It’s really concerning when you see a pregnant woman or a family member with children who is not traveling and they’re denied a visa.”
The report also found that about half of those who are denied visas have been convicted of a crime.
That means they may be unable to get an immigrant visa because of a felony conviction.
The government says it has the power to block visas and restrict the entry of foreign nationals, but some critics argue the agency is abusing its discretion by denying visas to people it doesn’t believe have a good reason to travel.
“They’re not denying visas because they don’t think it’s a good thing for the country,” says Stumpfe.
“The vast majority of people who are being denied visas, I think, are not criminals, not terrorists,” says Eric Moutz, a professor of international law at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Most of these people, when they come to the United States, are here legally, they’re trying to do their best for their families, and then they come here and they have a family and they start having problems with the visa.”
Moutz says that when he speaks with people who have been denied visas he asks them what they think of the process and they say, “It sucks.
Moureldes, the federal immigration attorney, says that for the most part, it is the law that prevents people from entering the U., not the country itself.
“People who have come here unlawfully are the most vulnerable in the country, but they are also the most susceptible to abuse by our immigration system,” says Moureldas.
“And when you put these people in a situation where they have the possibility of being targeted, that’s when they become the most likely to come back.”
In addition to the government, there are a variety of companies that offer services to help people avoid problems, like travel insurance companies.
“We do have a program that is called Travel Insurance that offers people a level of protection against their own problems that a court-ordered court order cannot provide,” says Bougher.
Travel Insurance is available to most U.A.E. residents, regardless of their legal status, for up to $5,000 per year, which is a substantial discount compared to the $100,000 a year that many other insurance companies charge.
“People are really excited about this program, because it allows them to protect themselves in a lot more ways,” says Gouhaldes.
“You can have your family member come in and get in the car and drive to the airport, you can buy a travel insurance policy.
And the best part is it’s not a court order, it’s an automatic policy.”
If you or anyone you know needs help, the American Immigration Lawyers Association can provide free advice and referrals to help you and your family.
You can also call 1-800-227-1136 for information on your local immigration lawyer.