President Trump’s New Executive Order Restricting Immigration from Muslim Majority Countries

by CLCMA

On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order restricting immigration from six Muslim majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen

The new executive order will be effective on March 16, 2017. If you are a citizen of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen, and are not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, we recommend you contact CLCMA or an immigration attorney prior to any international travel.

This executive order rescinded the previous order signed on January 27, 2017 and the substantial changes are:

💠  Iraq has been removed from the list of designated countries

💠 The new executive order does NOT apply to:

  • Lawful permanent residents (Green Card Holders)
  • Foreign nationals admitted or paroled into the United States as of March 16, 2017
  • Foreign nationals with a valid entry document, such as an advance parole document
  • Dual nationals traveling with passports issued by a non-designated country
  • Foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic or diplomatic-type visas
  • Foreign nationals granted asylum
  • Refugees already admitted into the United States
  • Individuals granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture

💠 Removed the following language:

“The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.  In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

💠 Places a 120 day freeze on all refugees, which can be renewed. The prior order placed indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.

💠 Removes prioritization of refugees who are part of a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.

The Executive Order will be phased in over two weeks and will go into effect on March 16, 2017, it implements the following

💠 A 90 day ban on travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This only applies to nationals of the aforementioned countries, who:

“(i) are outside the United States on the effective date of this order [March 16, 2017];

(ii) did not have a valid visa at 5:00 p.m., eastern standard time on January 27, 2017; and

(iii) do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order [March 16, 2017].”[1]

💠 Waivers of this ban may be granted on a case-by-case basis. The following examples are provided in the Executive Order:

“(i) the foreign national has previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the United States on the effective date of this order, seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry during the suspension period would impair that activity;

(ii) the foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the effective date of this order for work, study, or other lawful activity;

(iii) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations;

(iv) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship;

(v) the foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;

(vi) the foreign national has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee) and the employee can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government;

(vii) the foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. 288 et seq., traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA;

(viii) the foreign national is a landed Canadian immigrant who applies for a visa at a location within Canada; or

(ix)  the foreign national is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor.”

💠  Reduces the number of refugees admitted to the United States each year from approximately 110,000 to 50,000

💠  No immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued before the effective date of this order [March 16, 2017] shall be revoked.

💠   Any individual whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry.

Any prior cancellation or revocation of a visa that was solely based on Executive Order 13769 shall not be the basis of inadmissibility for any future determination about entry or admissibility.

General Advice for International Travel

All international travelers, regardless of citizenship, should be aware that their belongings, including cellphones and laptops are subject to search. Border agents have “discretionary authority” to question travelers whom they deem suspicious.

Border agents have been asking for voluntary disclosure of social media passwords. The failure to comply with these requests at this time is not a valid basis for detention. The Trump administration has suggested that disclosure may be made mandatory in the future. CLCMA anticipates a challenge to any such change in policy. Travelers should be aware they may be subject to extended questioning if they refuse to disclose passwords.

Please contact CLCMA with your specific questions as the law is in flux and information is constantly changing.

[1] Executive Order: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/06/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

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