On January 27, 2017 the President signed an executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” In addition to a chaotic and poorly coordinated roll out, the order also fell victim to several lawsuits that stopped implementation and enforcement of the order. On February 3rd, a federal district court in Washington State issued a nationwide temporary restraining order. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision on February 9th.
Rather than move through the judicial process to defend such a deeply flawed executive order, the administration issued a second executive order (with the same title as the first). Within days, the administration dismissed the pending appeal of the first executive order in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
The second executive order was to take effect March 16th and expressly revoked the first executive order. In separate lawsuits, however, U.S. District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland both issued nationwide stays of the second executive order, putting implementation of the order on hold until those lawsuits are decided. Thus currently neither the first nor the second executive orders are in effect and being implemented.
What Does the Second Executive Order Attempt to Accomplish?
- Prohibits entry into the U.S. for at least 90 days of immigrants and visitors from Syria, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen (but exempts lawful permanent residents and dual nationals travelling on a passport from a country not included in the six listed countries);
- Suspends refugee resettlement to the U.S. for 120 days and reduces the number of refugees that the US Refugee Assistance Program (USRAP) will resettle in fiscal year 2017 from 110, 000 to 50, 000;
- Suspends the VISA Interview Waiver Program (unless an interview is not required by statute or otherwise excepted by the Order) and requires in-person interviews for most nonimmigrant visa applicants;
- Requires a uniform screening and vetting standard to identify individuals who seek to enter the U.S. via fraud, support terrorism or violence, or present a risk of causing harm subsequent to their entry into the U.S.; and
- Requires the immediate implementation of a Biometric Entry and Exit reporting system.
The Attorneys at Antonini & Cohen
Antonini & Cohen will keep our clients and friends advised of any developments regarding the lawsuits surrounding implementation of the Administration’s second executive order. In the meantime, we urge all foreign nationals with eligibility for any immigration benefits to proceed with filing. Contact us so we can evaluate your circumstances and advise whether you qualify for an immigration status or other benefit.