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Allen and Hodgman | Trump issues shocking Executive Order barring entry by Nationals of seven Muslim countries and all Refugees

Trump issues shocking Executive Order barring entry by Nationals of seven Muslim countries and all Refugees

Late in the afternoon of Friday January 27, 2016, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that does the following:

  • The order bars entry into the United States by all nonimmigrants and immigrants “from” seven Muslaim-majority countries. These countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yeman. The ban includes holders on nonimmigrant visas such as visitor visas, student visas, and H-1B visas. The ban also includes persons with both immigrant visas and existing green card holders, even those who have been living legally in the United States for many years. Finally, the ban includes dual citizens such as Canadian citizens born in one of the seven countries.
  • The order also prohibits entry into the United States of refugees from all countries for 150 days, reduces the total number of refugees to be admitted to 50,000, and announces a new policy of favoring Christian refugees from Muslim countries over other refugees. The order also indefinitely bans all refugees from Syria. Thirty thousand refugees have been admitted already in this fiscal year, so only 20,000 more can be admitted under the Trump order.

The ban on entry from the seven Muslim countries will last an initial 90 days. The ban will be extended indefinitely if the countries in question do not provide as yet undefined information about their citizens to U.S. immigration authorities. It is highly unlikely the countries in question will agree to provide such information.

As of Saturday January 28, persons subject to the ban were being detained at airports throughout the U.S. An arriving Iraqi translator who had supported the U.S. military for more than ten years at great risk to his own life, and who had been issued a Special Immigrant Visa, was arrested at JFK airport. This has resulted in the filing of a lawsuit in federal court, including a request for class certification.

These bans are supposed to prevent terrorist attacks on the United States. There has never been a terrorist attack on the United States by a national of any of the seven banned countries. Most of the September 11 terrorists where from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not one of the seven countries to which the ban applies.

Along with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), we urge all U.S. citizens, and all U.S. immigrants, to make their voices heard in opposing these discriminatory and restrictionist legislation and policies.