US travel ban separates Indian American families

Several Indian American families in the US are finding themselves separated from their loved ones in India following the Biden administration`s ban on travellers from India. The ban signed by President Joe Biden as a proclamation on 30th April came into effect on 4th May due to a second wave surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths in India. In some cases, the main earning member of the family has been left stranded in India, with no way to re-join their spouses and kids in the US. In some other instances, mothers have been separated from their young children as one of the unintended consequences of the US travel ban coming into effect. According to the US State Department, certain categories of students, academics, journalists, and individuals have been exempted from the ban.

The travel ban seems to be for an indefinite period given the major outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Some of the affected people say that they are now stuck in India for an indefinite period as the American consulates have also been shut down. People who even have approved visas are stranded as the US embassy in India has been closed. They need to have visa stamping on their passport and also attend an in-person interview at the US mission in Delhi. The ban specifically targets non-immigrants and their families. Looking at the history of such bans, this situation could continue for months or even a year. Thousands of people have heart-breaking stories of coming here to attend to dying parents and then getting stuck in India due to the ban and not able to re-join their kids and spouses. The new travel restrictions have been imposed for an indefinite period and will require another presidential proclamation to end it.

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