Well all I can say is that it’s about time! President Obama today issued a proclamation (full text after the break) barring entry to the United States for anyone who “participate[s] in serious human rights and humanitarian law violations and other abuses.” From the Washington Blade:
Specific language in the proclamation explicitly states that those who persecute people based on their “sexual orientation and gender identity” are among the categories of those who won’t be able to enter the United States.
This is especially important where homophobic African countries (e.g. Uganda and Ghana) are concerned. President Obama is finally catching up to where most European Union countries have been for a while.
While this is a great first step, more needs to be done. All U.S. aid to countries who tollerate and allow human rights violations and unfettered violence against the LGBT community need to have any and all U.S. aid withdrawn. The simple fact is “Money talks.” I do, however, want to applaud President Obama for taking this step. Better late then never.
Press the READ MORE button below to view the full Presidential
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release August 04, 2011
Presidential Proclamation–Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Participate in Serious Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Violations and Other Abuses
SUSPENSION OF ENTRY AS IMMIGRANTS AND NONIMMIGRANTS OF PERSONS WHO PARTICIPATE IN SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMANITARIAN LAW VIOLATIONS AND OTHER ABUSES
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The United States enduring commitment to respect for human rights and humanitarian law requires that its Government be able to ensure that the United States does not become a safe haven for serious violators of human rights and humanitarian law and those who engage in other related abuses. Universal respect for human rights and humanitarian law and the prevention of atrocities internationally promotes U.S. values and fundamental U.S. interests in helping secure peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises around the globe. I therefore have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict the international travel and to suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of certain persons who have engaged in the acts outlined in section 1 of this proclamation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of this proclamation would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. I therefore hereby proclaim that:
Section 1. The entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of the following persons is hereby suspended:
(a) Any alien who planned, ordered, assisted, aided and abetted, committed or otherwise participated in, including through command responsibility, widespread or systematic violence against any civilian population based in whole or in part on race; color; descent; sex; disability; membership in an indigenous group; language; religion; political opinion; national origin; ethnicity; membership in a particular social group; birth; or sexual orientation or gender identity, or who attempted or conspired to do so.
(b) Any alien who planned, ordered, assisted, aided and abetted, committed or otherwise participated in, including through command responsibility, war crimes, crimes against humanity or other serious violations of human rights, or who attempted or conspired to do so.
Sec. 2. Section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply with respect to any person otherwise covered by section 1 where the entry of such person would not harm the foreign relations interests of the United States.
Sec. 3. The Secretary of State, or the Secretary’s designee, in his or her sole discretion, shall identify persons covered by section 1 of this proclamation, pursuant to such standards and procedures as the Secretary may establish.
Sec. 4. The Secretary of State shall have responsibility for implementing this proclamation pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish.
Sec. 5. For any person whose entry is otherwise suspended under this proclamation entry will be denied, unless the Secretary of State determines that the particular entry of such person would be in the interests of the United States. In exercising such authority, the Secretary of State shall consult the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters related to admissibility or inadmissibility within the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Sec. 6. Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to derogate from United States Government obligations under applicable international agreements, or to suspend entry based solely on an alien’s ideology, opinions, or beliefs, or based solely on expression that would be considered protected under U.S. interpretations of international agreements to which the United States is a party. Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to limit the authority of the United States to admit or to suspend entry of particular individuals into the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) or under any other provision of U.S. law.
Sec. 7. This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 8. This proclamation is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until such time as the Secretary of State determines that it is no longer necessary and should be terminated, either in whole or in part. Any such termination shall become effective upon publication in the Federal Register.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.