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News & Press: Advocacy Actions

UPDATED: NPA Advisor Brendan Delaney Comments on The President's Executive Order on Immigration

Monday, January 30, 2017   (3 Comments)
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January 30, 2017


On Friday, January 27, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order on immigration restricting travel to the United States from citizens of seven countries - namely, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia & Libya. The initial interpretation and implementation of this order led to confusion among U.S. border agents and others placed with admitting individuals to the United States. This included a period of time over the weekend when returning permanent residents (green card holders) where subject to the order, denying them admission to the United States. There are now lawsuits that have been filed and we are hopeful that there will be additional judicial review and clarification of this order in due course. 


In the short term, here are some points to consider:

  1. On Sunday night (January 29, 2017), the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, General John Kelly, confirmed that "I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest." This statement means that green card holders are now (absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare), exempt from the travel ban and can be admitted.
  2. If you are from one of the seven countries affected and are residing in the United States in a temporary (or non-immigrant status) you should not currently make plans to travel outside the United States even if you hold a valid visa in your passport.
  3. There seem to be conflicting reports as to how this affects dual nationals (so if you are in fact a dual national of a country other than the United States and of one of the seven countries) you should probably err on the side of caution until this is clarified.
    1. February 1, 2017 update - Does this Executive Order apply to dual nationals of the seven countries who want to enter the United States? If they apply for entry based on their citizenship from one of the countries NOT on the list, will they be allowed entry? Yes, but travelers are being treated according to the travel document they present.  For example, if they present a Canadian passport, that is how they are processed for entry.
  4. Individuals from countries other than those listed (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia & Libya) are eligible to continue to travel, obtain visas and reenter the United States.
  5. This does not affect the current and ongoing status of individuals from the seven countries listed who are currently inside the United States in a valid non-immigrant status.
  6. With regards to social media postings, The Department of Homeland Security has a wide amount of discretion in terms of what they review and how they interpret that information in terms of a person's eligibility for admission to the United States. Remember - a valid visa essentially provides you with the opportunity to be reviewed and admitted. It does not guarantee admission, so political postings and similar information could be reviewed and utilized by DHS in the context of a person's admission to the United States.

As this is a fluid and changing situation we will continue to monitor this and provide updated relevant information as needed.


February 3, 2017 update No current plans to include other countries in the travel ban: Department of State informed AILA that there is no addendum, annex, or amendment now being worked on to expand visa revocations or the travel ban to countries other than those currently implicated in the Executive Order.


Brendan Delaney, Esq. member of the NPA Advisors and partner at Leavy, Frank & Delaney, LLC.


See NPA Responds to Concerns About Recent Executive Orders


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Brendan Delaney says...
Posted Friday, February 3, 2017
Hi Mohammad, thank you for your comment. Right now, while there continue to be rumors and conjecture over the effect of this order on those individuals inside the United States, the order has not officially been extended. The American Immigration Lawyers Association have noted that: Media articles have reported that USCIS has suspended the adjudication of certain affected immigration benefits. Given the language of the Executive Order and the reports, it appears likely there has been or will be some directive to USCIS on how to handle benefits applications. AILA has contacted USCIS, but has been unable to confirm these reports definitively. AILA has also asked what benefits may be affected and how USCIS will treat dual nationals. We will update members as soon as possible.
Mohammad Sherafati says...
Posted Friday, February 3, 2017
The Order affects the applicants of the permanent residency inside the US as well. I have been informed by my lawyers that the USCIS officers have been instructed that they may not take final action on any pending petition for permanent residency of the applicants from the affected countries. This means, if nothing else, these applicants may not obtain the Employment Authorization by the end of their postdoc appointments or by the time they are going to assume a faculty position, this fall.
Mary M. Mitchell says...
Posted Monday, January 30, 2017
Thank you so very much for your calm clarity.