The US Citizens & Immigration Services (USCIS), under the Trump administration has issued a new policy alert that bans members of the Communist Party and other totalitarian organizations from acquiring a US immigrant visa.
The alert didn’t unveil any new immigration policy but spotlighted the Trump administration’s desire to enforce already codified and established policies more strictly.
“In general, unless otherwise exempt, any intending immigrant who is a member or affiliate of the Communist Party or any other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate), domestic or foreign, is inadmissible to the United States,” USCIS said in a policy alert statement.
Communist Party members will now be ineligible to immigrate to the US, according to new @USCIS policy guidance.
— Aaron Mc Nicholas (@aaronMCN) October 3, 2020
USCIS explained that the policy is based on laws passed by Congress between 1914 and the 1950s, during which time the United States had engaged in two World Wars. Those laws read, in part, “[A]ny immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate), domestic or foreign, is inadmissible,” to the United States.
There are exceptions to this disqualifier. A person is exempt from the ban if membership or affiliation was:
- Solely in effect when they were under 16 years old
- Made by operation of law
- For purposes of obtaining employment, food rations, or other essentials of living and where necessary for such purposes
- Terminated their membership or affiliation at least five years before the date of the application and had been “actively opposed” to the doctrine, program, principles, and ideology during those five years
The members of the Chinese Communist Party, the biggest communist party in the world, are expected to be affected most by the new policy. Official Chinese state data states there are over 90 million Chinese Communist Party members in China.