Updates of Executive Order Imposing Travel and Refugee Ban

On February 3, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order, prohibiting the federal government from enforcing parts of the travel ban including:
1. Sections 3(c) – 90-day travel ban on “immigrants and nonimmigrants” from the 7 designated countries;
2. Section 5(a) – 120-day ban on U.S. refugee program;
3. Section 5(b) – prioritization of certain refugee claims (giving a priority to minorities in Muslim majority countries) ;
4. Section 5(c) – indefinite suspension of Syrian refugee admissions; and
5. Section 5(e) – case-by-case refugee admissions.
The Court order applies nationwide and to all U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing these portions of the EO until further order from the court.
On January 27th, 2017, the Department of State announced that it was provisionally revoking all visas that have been previously issued to citizens from the named countries. However, on February 4, 2017, and in compliance to the court order:
1. Department of State: DOS has confirmed that assuming there are no other issues in the case, provisionally revoked visas have been reversed and are once again valid for travel.
2. Customs and Boarder Protection: All CBP Field Offices have been instructed to immediately resume inspection of travelers under standard policies and procedures. All airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality.
3. Physically Revoked Visas: CBP confirmed that individuals who arrived last weekend and had their visas physically cancelled as a result of the Executive Order will not need to reapply for a new visa and absent any other admissibility issues will receive an I-193 waiver (Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa) upon arrival to the U.S. For those traveling by air, airlines have been instructed to contact CBP to receive authorization to permit boarding.
4. US Citizenship and Immigration Services: USCIS will continue to adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of origin, and applications and petitions of lawful permanent residents outside the U.S. USCIS will also continue to adjudicate applications and petitions for individuals outside the U.S. whose approval does not directly confer travel authorization. Applications to adjust status also continue to be adjudicated, according to existing policies and procedures, for applicants who are nationals of countries designated in the Jan. 27, 2017 Executive Order.
The Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit declined, on February 5th, 2017, to grant an emergency stay of the court order and refused to quickly reinstate the travel ban. However, the court will hear the full case and may make a decision on the matter by Monday, February 6th, 2017.
Last, as of February 2nd, 2017, the Department of State confirmed that there is no information that supports the widely spread rumor of plans to expand the travel ban to include additional countries.

Posted in Immigration.