On Friday, January 27, 2017, the Trump administration issued an Executive Order suspending entry of non-immigrant visa holders and U.S. lawful permanent residents (aka green card holders) who are nationals of seven (7) countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for at least 90 days, and suspending admittance of all refugees for at least 120 days.
On Sunday, January 29, 2017, the White House and U.S. Department of Homeland Security both issued various conflicting statements regarding application of and compliance with the Executive Order, despite several court rulings ordering an immediate temporary stay. These include statements to continue following the Executive Order despite court issued stays, and statements to potentially add other countries (including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia) to the list of impacted countries without advanced notice.
The White House also confirmed Sunday that green card holders who are nationals of the affected countries would not be prevented from returning to the U.S, but may be detained and questioned upon entry.
Individuals have reported on being denied entry onto international flights, significantly long wait times at U.S. Ports of Entry due to extra screening, as well as hours of detention and intrusive questioning (including separating family members and reviewing cell phones and social media accounts) without allowing access to legal counsel.
In view of the above, we urge clients to continue to take seriously the terms of the Executive Order. Due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding implementation, we advise all clients who hold one of the seven (7) nationalities noted above to refrain from all travel until further notice, and if currently abroad, to contact Immigration Counsel immediately. This includes U.S. lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens with dual nationality. We further caution clients of other potentially impacted nationalities to refrain from any unnecessary travel at this time.
Gibney will continue to closely monitor any proposed changes to policy or procedure under the Trump administration, and we will provide updates as needed. If you have any questions regarding this alert, please contact your designated Gibney representative, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further details on these Executive Orders, please see the Gibney website alert, “Proposed Executive Order: Travel/Refugee Ban“.