02/14/17 – Travel Ban

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Immigration restrictions require greater scrutiny of travelers before visas are granted because of potential threats posed to the United States

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

President Donald Trump’s executive order, right? No.

For decades, the U.S. imposed significant restrictions on travelers from the Soviet Union. They received far greater vetting than people from other countries. This increased scrutiny ramped-up after World War II. That war raised concerns of possible sabotage by foreign agents living in the U.S. America was deep in the Cold War. The USSR and Warsaw Pact nations were viewed as the biggest threats to national security.

Some Soviets requesting visas were approved. But if applicants couldn’t pass muster with the U.S. intelligence community, they were turned away.

Even those granted entry into the U.S. faced restrictions not placed on other foreigners. There were critical areas around the country placed off-limits.

And no one accused Washington of orchestrating a campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church.

The last of these restrictions fell about 25 years ago after the Soviet Union fell apart.

 

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