The International Center has been contacted by various constituencies regarding recent Executive Orders on Immigration. After consultation with local legal counsel which follows immigration issues, we are pleased to share the following information about the Executive Orders as well as to provide helpful tips and resources for immigrants and nonimmigrants seeking to gain admission after travel abroad or first time entry to the United States.
I. October 24, 2017 Executive Order – “Resuming the United States Refugee Admissions Program with Enhanced Vetting Capabilities”
- As of October 24, 2017, Section VI of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order concerning the 120 day suspension of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is no longer in effect.
- A 90 day administrative review of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is in effect for particular nationals from 11 countries (unidentified) that have been deemed high risk – applicants from those 11 countries will be considered on a case-by-case basis during the 90 day administrative review.
II. October 17, 2017 U.S. Judicial Orders
- On October 17, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO) in the case Hawaii v. Trump, blocking the majority of the travel restrictions set forth in President Trump’s September 24, 2017 proclamation.
- The TRO temporarily enjoins the implementation and enforcement of sections 2(a), (b), (c), (e), (g), and (h) of the proclamation and applies to nationals from six of the eight designated countries: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad. The TRO does not, however, enjoin the proclamation’s travel restrictions on nationals from North Korea and Venezuela as the plaintiffs in Hawaii v. Trump did not seek to enjoin the travel ban with respect to these two countries.
- Also, on October 17, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang of Maryland issued a nationwide preliminary injunction in the case IRAP v. Trump prohibiting the enforcement of section 2 of the President’s proclamation, except with regard to (1) nationals of North Korea and Venezuela and (2) individuals lacking a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.
- In light of these rulings, nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad will not be restricted from traveling to the United States. On the other hand, all immigrants and nonimmigrants from North Korea and certain government officials and their family members from Venezuela traveling on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2) will continue to be restricted from travel to the U.S. pursuant to the presidential proclamation.
III. September 24, 2017 Proclamation – “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public Safety Threats”
- The proclamation, commonly known as Travel Ban 3.0, imposes new country-specific travel restrictions on eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. In addition, nationals of Iraq will be subject to extra screening measures.
IV. March 6, 2017 Executive Order – “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To The United States”
- As of June 26, 2017, Section II of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order concerning the 90 day travel ban to the United States for citizens and nationals of Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan is in effect unless such persons have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States or meet one of the below mentioned exclusions.
- As of June 26, 2017, Section VI of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order concerning the 120 day suspension of the Refugee Admissions Program is in effect unless such applicants have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.
- Section IX of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order concerning the suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program currently remains in effect and is being adhered to by United States Embassies and Consulates across the globe. Please refer to the “Helpful Tips When Traveling to the United States” section below for those foreign national employees who need to renew their nonimmigrant visa abroad at a United States Embassy or Consulate, and subsequently seek admission back to the United States.
EXCLUDED from the March 6, 2017 Executive Order
- Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) of the United States who also hold a passport issued by one of the six (6) aforementioned countries.
- Any foreign national who has been granted asylum; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States; or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
- Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa holders (visas must have been currently valid on the effective date of the executive order or must have been valid by 5:00 EST on January 27, 2017) who also hold a passport issued by one of the six (6) aforementioned countries.
- Citizens and nationals of countries other than the ones explicitly named in the Executive
- Dual Nationals, holding and traveling with a valid passport issued by the United States as well as a passport issued by one of the six (6) aforementioned countries.
- Dual Nationals, holding and traveling with a valid passport issued by a third country as well as a passport issued by one of the six (6) aforementioned countries.
- Foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic, NATO, C-2 for Travel to the United Nations, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visas.
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to adjudicate Applications for Naturalization and Applications to Adjust Status and grant citizenship consistent with existing practices.
V. January 27, 2017 Executive Order – “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”
- Per Section XIII of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order, the January 27, 2017 Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” has been revoked in its entirety.
VI. January 25, 2017 Executive Order – “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”
- This Executive Order mainly empowers law enforcement agencies to pursue the removal of all undocumented immigrants (without exception), non-citizens who are security risks, non-citizens with criminal arrests, charges, or convictions, and individuals with final orders of removal.
- Rescinds the Priority Enforcement Program, directs Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hire 10,000 officials to enforce the Executive Order, and restores the 287(g) program that allows local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws.
- Calls for actions to be taken against sanctuary cities and jurisdictions that refuse to comply with the enforcement of the Executive Order.
- EXCEPTION: Those foreign nationals that have been granted or are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
VII. January 25, 2017 Executive Order – “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”
- This Executive Order calls for funding of a border wall between the United States and
- Curtails the due process of asylum seekers.
- Calls for the detention of all persons attempting to enter the United States and all persons in removal proceedings.
- Directs the Department of Homeland Security to immediately construct detention facilities at or near the southern border.
- Limits the use of parole.
- Expands the use of “expedited removal” to anyone in the United States who cannot prove she/he has lived here for at least two years.
- Prioritizes the criminal prosecution of unlawful entry into the United States and directs Immigration and Customs Enforcement to penalize parents who bring their undocumented children to the United States.
- Calls for the removal of individuals with pending deportation cases to Mexico pending the conclusion of their cases.
VIII. Helpful Tips When Traveling to the United States
- Ensure that your Passport, Green Card, and/or Nonimmigrant visa is valid before leaving the United States. If your Nonimmigrant visa has expired be sure before you depart the United States to take the appropriate steps in informing your employer (and their immigration counsel) as well as making sure to complete the necessary Nonimmigrant Visa Application(s) at: https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/
- Should you be working in the United States on a Nonimmigrant visa, be sure to bring with you a letter from your employer on company letterhead stating your position, salary, and their intent to continue to temporarily employ you upon return, copies of your two (2) most recent pay stubs, Form I-797 – Approval Notice(s), and any other documentation (ID Card, Business Card, etc.) showing you work for your current employer.
- Dependent Nonimmigrant spouses and children should bring with them documentation showing the familial relationship to the Principal Nonimmigrant Visa holder such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, and any other relevant documentation.
- Any Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) from the six (6) designated countries should make sure not to sign the I-407 (Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Residence).
- If detained by Customs and Border Protection for extended periods, individuals should take note of the length of detention, where they were held, note down the names of every officer they spoke to, ask to speak to their lawyer, ask to speak to their Congressional representative, and demand to see an Immigration Judge if threatened with removal or coerced to sign any documents.
- Persons detained at any airport under an Executive Order should call the Indianapolis ACLU hotline at 317-635-4059 or contact an Immigration Attorney at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (http://www.aila.org) or Indianapolis Bar Association (https://www.indybar.org)
- Immigration Executive Orders can be found at the following: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/executive-orders
- The Immigrant Welcome Center is hosting intermittent informational sessions with immigration attorneys from the Neighborhood Legal Clinic and the Coalition for our Immigrant Neighbors. Information about these events is housed on the Immigrant Welcome Center website: https://www.immigrantwelcomecenter.org/legal-information/