02-01-2017 By Laurie Thomas, Maritime Security Outlook Contributor
On Feb. 1, 2017, gCaptain printed a sobering article concerning the impact of the president’s order on immigration and travel on U.S. shipping, at http://gcaptain.com/trumps-immigration-ban-and-its-implications-for-the-maritime-industry/.
The entire content of the article is reprinted below, with permission.
FSOs who foresee an upcoming ban-related problem with mariners should immediately contact the local COTP for guidance.
“President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration and travel to the United States has immediate implications for ships calling at U.S. ports, particularly those ships with crew members hailing from any one of the seven countries whose citizens are banned under the order, P&I clubs are warning.
As the Executive Order bans entry into the US for citizens from Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya for the next 90 days, crewmembers aboard ships entering US waters who are citizens of these countries will be denied entry to the US during this time, says The Standard Club, a specialist marine and energy insurer. The club is telling its members to anticipate that shore leave will be denied for those crewmembers and that enhanced security of the ship, including the use of armed guards, may be ordered by local immigration officials while the ship is in a U.S. port.
At this time however, it is not believed that ships carrying crew from these countries will be denied entry into U.S. ports, The Standard Club said.
The UK P&I Club offered similar guidance to its members.
“For the next 90 days crewmembers from Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya, whether or not they hold visas, will be denied entry to the U.S.,” the UK P&I Club wrote in a alert to members. The club is warning members to avoid crew changes in the United States for those citizens of the seven countries targeted by the order.
Regarding medical emergencies, both the UK P&I Club and The Standard Club say if a crewmember from Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya requires emergency medical treatment while in the United, there is an exception under the order that MAY allow the crewmember to be removed from the ship for medical treatment.
The Executive Order says that the Departments of State and Homeland Security (CBP) may determine on a case by case basis to issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked. Therefore, government authorities may be able to use the exception to allow the crewmember to be treated in the U.S. if there is a true medical emergency.
At this time it is unclear how many ships and crew members may be impacted by the Executive Order.
Both the UK P&I Club and The Standard Club say they will continue to monitor the situation and update its members with any developments.
In addition to banning citizens from the seven countries for 90 days, the Executive Order also bars the entry of refugees from Syria indefinitely and stops admission of all refugees to the United States for the next four months, among other things.”