On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”
Sadly, the Executive Order does the following things, effective immediately:
- The Executive Order places a ban on entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely. The Order does not give any date on which this ban might be lifted. The Order states that the ban will remain in place until “sufficient changes have been made … to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.”
- The Executive Order suspends the admission of all refugees around the world for at least 120 days.
- The Executive Order reduces the number of refugees to be admitted to the United States in this fiscal year (October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017) from 110,000 down to 50,000 persons. This is the lowest level in about a decade.
- The Executive Order bans the entry of all persons who are from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, for at least 90 days. This list of countries may be found in a list here. The U.S. Government could update this list of countries at any time.
- Persons who are not U.S. Citizens, including Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States (green-card holders), who have ties to Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen, should not depart the United States at this time, not even to travel to Canada or other countries. If you leave the United States, you might not be allowed to enter the United States.
- S. Citizens with ties to these countries will not be refused entry, but should expect long delays upon return to the United States, including the possibility of extensive questioning, searches of luggage, searches of computers and phones, and body searches, and other intrusive acts by U.S. immigration officials.
- The Executive Order states that “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.” Although the Executive Order does not contain the words “Islam” or “Muslim,” it appears that this language in the Executive Order expresses a prejudiced and ignorant view towards persons of the Muslim faith.
- The Executive Order requires in-person interviews for most non-immigrant visa applicants, regardless of their country of origin. This will likely slow down the issuance of all visas at many U.S. Consulates throughout the world, because of the hugely increased workload resulting from the requirement of in-person interviews.