What Immigrants Need to Know about the Ban

When it comes to matters of immigration and national security, the courts often defer to the executive branch. But with President Trump’s recent immigration order, announced with much fanfare late Friday, January 27, 2017, concerned immigration advocates, citizens and affected individuals are pushing back. The ban seeks to temporarily block entry into the U.S. for citizens and immigrants from seven countries in the Middle East, and blocks entry for nearly all refugees. The question the administration and country face: is Trump’s immigration ban unconstitutional?

The 411 on the Immigration Ban

statue of libertyTrump’s immigration ban purports to keep Americans safe by heightening border security. According to the presidential administration, the order has been put in place temporarily while the national security team analyzes and updates vetting procedures for U.S. immigrants. The immigration ban:

  • Puts a 120 day suspension on refugee resettlement into the United States
  • Cut the annual number of refugees allowed into the U.S. from 110,000 to 50,000
  • Indefinitely bans resettlement of refugees from Syria
  • Suspends immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen for 90 days
  • Provides exemptions for foreign diplomats and members of certain international organizations
  • Prioritizes refugees facing religious persecution if it is a minority religion in their country of origin
  • Initially included prohibiting green card holders from reentering the United States, which the administration later clarified was intended only to apply to legal permanent residents suspected of terrorist activity

Because the detention of green card holders occurs on a case by case basis, immigrants on student visas or work visas, among others, may be denied re-entry into the U.S.

Is the Immigration Ban Legal?

Many American citizens and legal residents have pushed back against the immigration ban. An order by Seattle federal district judge James Robart placed a temporary restraining order on the executive order on Friday, February 3rd. This was the second federal judge to do so. The matter has gone to the Ninth Circle Court of Appeals, which is currently debating whether to reinstate Trump’s immigration ban. They are expected to reach a decision this week on the legality of the ban.

If you or someone you know may be affected by the immigration ban, contact Brownstein & Nguyen to evaluate your case.