On March 6th, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a new Executive order “PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES”. The order Revokes (Cancels) and Replaces the previous order signed on January 27, 2017. The following points are a brief summary of the new order:
I. The Ban
1. The order applies to nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. (Note that although Iraq has been taken off the list, Iraqi Nationals will be subject to additional scrutiny).
2. Entry of Nationals of the six countries listed above will be suspended for 90 days. (See the exceptions below).
3. Travel, and decisions on applications, for Refugee status will be suspended for 120 days. (Note that no indefinite suspension for Syrian refugees is mentioned).
4. The number of Refugees to be admitted into the US in 2017 will be limited to 50,000 refugees.
5. The priority or exception given to Christian Minorities in Muslim Majority countries has been completely removed from this order.
II. Who does it apply to?
Applies only to Foreign Nationals from the 6 listed countries who:
a. Are outside the United States on the effective date of this order;
b. Did not have a valid visa on January 27, 2017; and
c. Do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order.
It also applies to Refugees applying to come from the listed countries and have not been approved or scheduled to travel to the United states yet.
The Order lists many very broad discretionary exceptions, and waivers, which are granted to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, Counselors, and CBP Officers. However, the following are more specific exceptions to which the ban does not apply to.
A. The Immigrant and non-immigrant ban:
1. Any lawful permanent resident of the United States (Green Card Holders);
2. Foreign Nationals already in the United States;
3. Foreign Nationals who have an Advanced Parole or similar documents;
4. Dual Nationals with one nationality from a listed country and another nationality from a non-listed country;
5. Diplomates; and
6. Foreign nationals who have been already granted asylum, refugees already admitted to the US, or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
B. The Refugees Ban:
The Refugees ban does not apply to:
1. Refugee applicants who, before the effective date of this order, have been formally scheduled for transit (travel) by the Department of State.
While applying or implementing the Order, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security are directed to the following:
1. Providing an opportunity for individuals to claim a fear of persecution or torture, such as the credible fear determination for aliens;
2. No immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued before the effective date of this order shall be revoked;
3. Any individual whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry;
4. The order shall not apply to an individual who has been granted asylum, to a refugee who has already been admitted to the United States, or to an individual granted withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture; and
5. The order shall not be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture, consistent with the laws of the United States.
V. Effective Date
The order is effective at 12:01 a.m., Eastern Time on March 16, 2017.