Executive Order Breaking Updates on Implementation

President Trump signed an Executive Order on January 27, 2017 regarding visas, screening procedures, and refugees. His Executive Order is called "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States." Among other things, the Executive Order "suspends" the entry of immigrant and nonimmigrant nationals from seven countries for 90 days. The designated countries include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. It does not seem that the Executive Order is meant to include individuals who travel to these countries, but it is unclear.

The order also does not define what it means to be "from" a certain country. However, it is safe to interpret the term broadly, assuming it includes passport holders, citizens, nationals, and dual nationals. Additionally, travel is not automatically reinstated after the 90 days. At that time, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must report whether countries have provided appropriate information to determine if the individuals seeking to travel are who they claim to be, and are not security or public-safety threats. Then, if a country does not comply within 60 days, the travel ban could become indefinite for that country.

Who does this affect?

  • All individuals "from" the seven designated countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. That means Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs), immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders, refugees, etc.
    • Any individual holding a passport from a designated country may be considered as being "from" that country. This includes dual citizens who hold a passport from one designated country and one non-designated country.
  • Customs and Border Protection are processing people based on how they present themselves at the first inspection.
  • The order does NOT apply to people who have simply traveled to a designated country.

January 28, 2017

It was reported that policies are not implemented consistently on the ground. There is limited discretion for DHS to admit Legal Permanent Residents on a case-by-case basis, and following a thorough security review. LPRs are allowed to board planes. LPR cases are being judged at the port of entry. Nonimmigrants are allowed to withdraw applications for admission. Further, expedited removal will likely only be used for individuals who do not wish to withdraw an application.

January 29, 2017

Travel for refugees has been stopped from the 7 designated countries. Refugees that are not from the designated countries, but who had been scheduled to arrive in the next few days will be allowed to enter.

January 31, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security announced that individuals traveling on passports from a designated country will be "temporarily suspended from entry to the United States." DHS confirmed that they consider a passport holder of a designated country to be "from" that designated country. They also confirmed that the ban includes dual citizens who hold a passport from a designated country. Following the Executive Order, the Department of State has announced that they will not issue a visa to any national of a designated country until further notice.

February 1, 2017

The Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs announced the "provisional revocation of all valid nonimmigrant and immigrant visas of nationals" of the designated countries.

Are you affected by the Executive Order?

Attorneys are advising clients who might be affected to refrain from leaving the United States at this time. The situation may change at any time.

This post is not legal advice. Attorneys and clients should discuss and make decisions based on individual circumstances.