On March 11, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation that suspended entry to the United States from most of Europe. After a series of amendments by both administrations, also in the form of proclamations, it resulted in what is today an extensive travel ban for people who cannot produce accepted vaccine documentation (which is, unfortunately, most of the population).

By many sources, proclamations seem to be mostly ceremonial and pertain to relatively unimportant matters:

The President of the United States communicates information on holidays, commemorations, special observances, trade, and policy through Proclamations. https://www.federalregister.gov/presidential-documents/proclamations

Presidential proclamations are often dismissed as a practical tool for policy making because they are considered to be largely ceremonial or symbolic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_proclamation_(United_States)

In contrast, Muslim travel ban, pretty much identical in nature, and of much lesser scope and impact, was issued by an Executive Order.

Why was arguably one of the most important pieces of modern federal legislation, which wiped out an entire chunk of the economy overnight, implemented in a way generally reserved for symbollic and ceremonial matters?

  • “Lesser impact” in what sense? The former is arguably a a public health measure, the latter is arguably a matter of racism, ethnic and/or a religiously discriminatory action which may also have a greater economic impact than not allowing a European to set foot in the U.S. temporarily. Most economically impactful matters of the EU and the U.S. cab be arranged remotely.
    – kisspuska
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 18:43
  • I'm not sure that an Executive Order and a Presidential Proclamation are different things legally. At a minimum the categories aren't necessarily exclusive.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 20:15


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