Since President Trump’s Executive Order on travel ban, there has been considerable public debate on this issue, as well as a strong response from the federal court. The Virginia Beach Law Group understands that this public debate on Immigration law is not easy to comprehend. By giving the summary of events from January 27th to mid-February, our Firm seeks to describe the recent event in simpler terms. This is a developing story, so be on the look out for further changes.
1. EXECUTIVE ORDER:
The trail of events goes back to January 27, 2017, when the President Trump issued Executive Order 13769 “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” It orders 90-day suspension of the entry of immigrants and non-immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The targeted people include Greencard holders (Lawful Permanent Residents) who were out of the country or who traveled abroad on and after this signing date. Other than the travel ban, the Executive Order also suspended the Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, and indefinitely suspends the entry of all Syrian refugees.
This Executive Order was based on the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) § 212(f), under which the President has a broad authority to suspend people or classes of people upon determination that their entry is “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” While it is true that the Obama administration in 2011 slowed the issuance of visa to Iraqis after two Iraqi refugees were arrested on terrorism charges in Bowling Green, Kentucky. However, the Obama administration discouraged travel to a list of countries and the Trump administration is focusing on a person’s nationality.
3. CALL FOR TEMPORARY HALT:
In response to the Executive Order, the states of Washington and Minnesota collectively filed the motion seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against this controversial executive order.
On February 3, a federal judge from Seattle issued a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) to talk the enforcement of this Executive Order.
4. FEDERAL COURT REFUSES TO REINSTATE THE EXEUCTIVE ORDER:
On February 9, a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously held that the Executive Order would not be reinstated, stating that “the government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States” to justify “an urgent need for the Executive Order to be immediately reinstated.”
5. USCIS UNDER NORMAL OPERATIONS:
In response, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed that irrespective of the beneficiary’s country of nationality, the USCIS will continue to adjudicate and process applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the U.S., as well as applications and petitions for individuals outside the U.S., and applications for adjustment of status to permanent residence.
6: ICE RAIDS:
Last week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of immigration enforcement operations nationwide, known as “raids” targeted at convicted criminals unlawfully present in the U.S. and those who are threat to the public safety. However, reports on arrests of some non-threatening individuals, including mothers and children, brought about a wide public outcry.
While these operations have been routine over the years, many immigrants and non-immigrants fear for their lives and families, as the ICE maintains that it will continue the operations on an on-going basis and the tug of war between the judicial branch and the executive branch leads to uncertain development in Immigration law.
7. SO WHAT DO YOU DO?
It is helpful to know that an alien is still entitled to some protections. It is crucial that an alien who is impacted by the recent development of events to contact an immigration attorney.