On January 27th, 2019, President Trump signed “Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” which changed many aspects of the U.S. immigration system.
What does the executive order say?
The executive order (EO) covered many aspects of the U.S. immigration system.
Two of the major changes are as follows:
>Banning refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. This ban remains in place until President Trump or the Trump Administration clarify the EO further.
>Suspending the U.S. refugee program for four months
Who is affected?
As of today, it is uncertain how many and who all will be affected by this EO. If you are from a Middle Eastern country, it is wise to assume that this EO will affect you even if your country has not yet been named.
Does it affect green card holders?
Again, it is unclear how many and who all this EO affects at this time.
If you are a current green card holder from the Middle East and are currently outside the U.S., make your way back to the U.S. as soon as possible.
At the airport or other port of entry, if it is unclear whether the immigration officer will allow you into the U.S., respectfully request that they do so.
If they take you back for a second inspection, respectfully insist on seeing an immigration judge. Further, do not sign any type of form, no matter how nice the immigration officer is to you.
What should I do if I think I am affected by the executive order?
Since there is still widespread confusion over who and to what extent this EO covers, we recommend the following:
>If you are a visa holder of any kind from a Middle Eastern country and are currently outside the U.S., do not try to travel back to the U.S. until further notice.
>If you are a visa holder of any kind from a Middle Eastern country and are currently inside the U.S., do not try to travel outside the U.S. until further notice.
>If you are a green card holder from a Middle Eastern country and are currently outside the U.S., try to make your way back to the U.S. as soon as possible.
>If you are a green card holder from a Middle Eastern country and are currently inside the U.S., do not try to travel outside the U.S. until further notice.
The best advice is to be wise and use common sense.
What are my rights as a visitor, student, or immigrant?
The issuance of any type of visa is discretionary and can be cancelled at any time and without reason.
Therefore, you do not have any rights as a visa holder or applicant before entering the U.S.
If your visa has been canceled, you will need to apply for a new visa at a later date.
This also applies to students who are registered at an American school. If you traveled overseas to visit family or friends, and had your visa canceled during that time, the fact that you paid tuition for the upcoming semester doesn’t mean anything for your visa cancellation. You will need to apply for a new visa as if you had never received one.
What are my rights as a U.S. citizen?
If you are a U.S. citizen from a Middle Eastern country, you have the same rights as a citizen who was born in the U.S.
At a port of entry or airport on U.S. soil, if an immigration officer doesn’t want to admit you into the U.S., respectfully demand that they do so. At this inspection, respectfully answer the officers questions.
If they take you for further inspection, you have the right to refuse to answer any questions, unlock your phone, or share any information with the officer.
Is this executive order legal?
The President has the right to issue EOs; however, this EO will be challenged in court, as it is based on race and religion.
Until that happens, however, the EO is legal and goes into affect.
What happens next?
There are already preparations for a legal challenge by many civil rights organizations and refugee advocates. At this time, it looks like a lawsuit will be brought early next week, challenging the constitutionality of this EO.
If you need assistance with your immigration case, do not hesitate to reach out to us!
Elkhalil Law is here to help you with your immigration case. We offer in-person, over the phone, and Skype consultations. Contact us today so that we can discuss your case!
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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.