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Effects and Reactions to President Trump's Executive Orders
On January 30, 2017 by Lucy G. Cheung

​On January 27, 2017 President Trump signed an Executive Order (Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States) affecting the visa-issuance process, screening, and entry for immigrants and nonimmigrants from 7 countries, as well as a ban on entry for all refugees. The Executive Order "suspends" entry into the United States for 90 days (and potentially longer) immigrant and nonimmigrant from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen into the United States for 90 days. The Order excludes foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, NATO visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas). The Order also temporarily suspends the Refugee Admission Program for the next 120 days, among other item.

On January 27, 2017 the U.S. Department of State published an urgent notice on its website stating that pursuant to the January 27 Executive Order, "visa issuance to nationals of the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended effective immediately until further notification."

In reaction to the January 27 Executive Orders, multiple lawsuits have been filed in federal courts throughout the country. Here is a synopsis from the American Immigration Lawyers Association posted on January 29, 2017:

"[On January 28] lawyers filed actions across the country to halt the January 27 EO. A federal judge in the Eastern District of New York issued the first order, granting a nationwide stay of removal preventing deportation for individuals with valid visas and approved refugee applications affected by the EO. The next decision came out of a federal court in Massachusetts - it went a bit further and barred federal officials from detaining or removing individuals subject to the EO. Two other courts also issued rulings. In a case filed in Virginia, the court ordered federal officials to provide lawyers access to "all legal permanent residents being detained in Dulles International Airport" and barred officials from deporting covered individuals for the next seven days. In the case out of Washington State, the federal judge barred the federal government from deporting two unnamed individuals from the United States.  Lawyers in the New York case are seeking clarification from the court."

The Order from the Massachusetts District Court allows for boarding of covered potential entries if they are arriving at Logan International Airport in Boston on or before February 5th.

On January 29, 2017 the Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a statement on "The Entry of Lawful Permanent Residents Into The United States." He states that: 

"In applying the provisions of the president's executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest.  Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations."

In conjunction with the Secretary's statement, DHS posted a Fact Sheet to the Executive Order. DHS also posted its Statement on Compliance with Court Orders and the President's Executive Order in reaction to the federal court orders.  

What Does This Executive Order Mean?

  • Anyone who holds or could hold a passport from the 7 designated countries is considered "from" the designated country. This includes dual citizens who hold passports from a designated country and a non-designated country.

  • According to the January 29th Statement by the Secretary of USDHS, lawful permanent residents will be allowed to board planes and will be assessed for exceptions at arrival ports of entry, as appropriate. The entry of these individuals, subject to national security checks, is in the national interest. The USDHS Fact Sheet notes that they "expect swift entry for these individuals."

  • It is crucial for international students and scholars "from" the designated countries to avoid travel from the United States - even if they are dual citizen of a third country.

  • Expect extensive delay in applications for visas for nationals from the designated countries, even after the 90 day ban.

We will closely monitor President Trump's immigration actions and will provide more updates as the story develop. This update is not legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  

Memos for International Educators

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