Back to Top skip to main content
GandS U.S. Immigration Logo
Jan 30, 2017

CLIENT ALERT: Recapping Trump’s Immigration-Related Executive Orders

This past week, the new Trump Administration issued three executive orders relating to immigration, with more potentially on the horizon that could affect our clients. We are able to confirm that Trump has issued orders aimed at tightening illegal entry, increasing removal priorities, and a ban on travel and visas for certain nationals.

Ban on Travel, Visas, Ceasing Refugee Processing

Late Friday afternoon, Trump signed an executive order, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States." The order is already subject to litigation and several district courts have issued stays. What appears to be in practical effect at the time of this writing, however, is the following:

  • Most visa issuance and admissions to nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen is to be suspended for least 90 days. Following some initial days’ confusion, on January 29th, DHS Secretary John Kelly clarified that Lawful Permanent Residents will continue to be able to enter the U.S.;
    • Please note:  DHS has clarified that the order applies to those individuals “traveling on” passports from banned countries. However, at the time of this writing there appears to be an ambiguity at U.S. ports and Pre-Clearance locations as to whether this ban applies to Dual Nationals. Nationals of these affected countries, even if holding other passports, are strongly encouraged to contact us prior to making travel into the U.S. or departures.
  • New uniform screening standards are to be implemented. The exact contours of new procedures are not known at this time;
  • The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is suspended for 120 days, with the total number of refugee admissions for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017 decreased to 50,000;
  • Consulates will suspend the visa interview waiver program. Contrary to media reports, this is not a suspension of the Visa Waiver Program (known by many as VWP or ESTA), which remains in effect;
  • The Department of State will review of visa reciprocity provisions.

We are receiving multiple and varying reports regarding the implementation of this order from our government contacts and colleagues overseas. Affected individuals inside and outside the United States should contact our offices prior to planning any travel and may wish to reconsider any plans to depart internationally.

 Additional Executive Orders

Earlier in the week, Trump has issued executive orders regarding the following:

  • Prioritizing removal of individuals who have been convicted of crimes, charged with crimes, committed acts that constitute crimes, or committed misrepresentations for public benefits;
  • Enabling local law enforcement officers the power to perform the function of federal immigration offers with respect to investigation, apprehension, and detention;
  • Threatening the withholding of funds for so-called “Sanctuary Cities”;
  • Prosecuting criminal immigration offenses;
  • Commencing the building of a physical wall between the U.S. and Mexico;
  • Constructing additional detention facilities near the Southern border;
  • Hiring additional immigration agents.

Please contact us if you have any questions relating to these executive orders and their impact to your family or operations.


Recent Blogs

Jan 21, 2022

DHS Adds 22 Fields to STEM Designated Degree Programs List for F-1 Students Seeking a 24-Month Extension of Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)

A Federal Register notice published January 21, 2022 announced that DHS "is amending the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List by adding 22 qualifying fields of study and a corresponding Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code for each." This list is used to determine which degrees obtained by F-1 students following the completion of a program of study qualifies as a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degree for the F-1 student to be eligible to apply for a 24-month STEM extension of their Optional Practical Training (OPT). Learn more in this blog.

Jan 18, 2022

The Department of State (DOS) Has Submitted a New Proposal to Raise Consular Service Fees

On December 29, 2021, the DOS issued a proposal raising the Consular Service fees for Nonimmigrant (NIV) and Special Visas. Comments on the proposed rule are due February 28, 2022. Learn more in this blog.

Dec 22, 2021

2022 to Bring New Changes to Mail-In Renewals in Australia

As our Australian clients are acutely aware, between limited, expensive, and frequently-cancelled-flights to the financial and psychological toll of a mandatory 2-week-quarantine on their own dime (which has been shortened as of late), to even requiring permission to leave the country again, returning Down Under over the past 21 months has been tough to say the least. However, once landed and released back into the world, Australian Citizens have usually benefitted from shorter wait-times for in-person Visa Appointments. Even as slots have vanished over the past few months with the U.S. Consulate in Sydney’s move, Australian Citizens have had the extra option of mailing-in Visa Applications for renewals once they are in the country, so long as they satisfy a list of requirements including but not limited to applying for the same classification of a visa that expired within the defined period of time.