On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals. The Executive Order suspends the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants from the following seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for a minimum period of 90 days and suspends all refugee admissions for at least 120 days. The Executive Order also suspends other adjudicatory immigration benefits in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.
Although certain parts of the Executive Order have been temporarily enjoined by federal courts, and are subject to further litigation, the travel ban and adjudications suspension remain in place and are being enforced.
For these reasons, we are advising that individuals presently in the United States who are nationals of one of the seven countries should refrain from all international travel until the order is rescinded or modified. Additionally, as the Executive Order expressly states that other countries may be added to the list, we also recommend that non-U.S. citizens who might fall under the purpose of the order avoid international travel. Although certain immigration benefits requests may be delayed, we recommend employers and individuals continue to file immigration benefits applications as before.
The administration's action impacts immigrants, workers, and visitors from the seven countries in the following ways:
- Suspension of the issuance of visas to nationals of these countries, which means these individuals will not be allowed to travel to the United States.
- Denial of entry to the U.S. even when in possession of a valid visa previously issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, which means that individuals with current visas will not be allowed to board flights for travel to the U.S.
- Suspension of the adjudication of immigration benefits to those already in the United States, such as permanent resident cards, employment authorization, or nonimmigrant visa petitions, which may cause delays in these individuals' ability work or extend current work authorization.
Also being prevented from entry to the U.S. are individuals born in one of the seven countries and who are dual nationals or citizens of a non-listed country.
At the present time, Customs and Border Protection has issued guidance to airlines that fly to the U.S. that green card holders can board planes to the U.S., but these individuals may get extra scrutiny on arrival and will not necessarily be admitted.
For More Information
For more information on this alert, please contact the author or a member of Polsinelli's Immigration practice. We will continue to update on the latest happenings with the Executive Order and related actions. We are also ready to provide advice and counsel regarding the Executive Order and how it might impact your organization and employees.