Why are Lebanese Being Denied Entry Into America?

Published September 25th, 2019 - 09:25 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)

Washington has started to take “hard measures” against Lebanese hoping to travel to the United States, including against those also holding EU citizenship, the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported Wednesday.

Parliamentary and ministerial sources who spoke to the newspaper claimed that some Lebanese nationals had been denied entry upon their arrival in the U.S.

The sources said that the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon has broad powers “both in terms of refusing renewal of U.S. entry visas for some Lebanese and revoking entry visas for others before expiry,” and that “even those who hold a valid entry visa must contact the U.S. [Embassy] in Beirut to confirm whether they are entitled to travel or are [not permitted to enter], which means that the entry visa has become automatically canceled.”

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The measures also apply to Lebanese who have European citizenship, despite having been able to travel freely to the U.S. with their EU passports. The sources confirmed that Lebanese holders of European passports were denied entry upon their arrival at U.S. airports and were sent back.

The U.S. Embassy in Lebanon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The reported policy change comes as rules have also apparently tightened for politicians. Health Minister Jamil Jabak was denied an entry visa to the U.S. ahead of the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, taking place this week.

On the sidelines of the General Assembly, a Lebanese diplomatic source told journalists that Jabak wasn’t the only one who wasn’t granted a visa.

“There are other [international] ministers, some of whom are close to the United States, who weren’t given visas,” the source said. Jabak is one of three ministers representing Hezbollah in the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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