What Donald Trump’s Executive Order Means for Immigrants Right Now
President Trump signed a new immigration executive order on Friday, January 27th, 2017. This order suspends admission to the United States for citizens from the following seven countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.
Even citizens from the countries listed above who have U.S. visas are affected by this suspension. The immigration executive order declares this suspension is temporary and is to last for 90 days.
Originally, lawful permanent residents (green card holders) were also affected. However, shortly after the executive order was signed many immigration advocates filed cases in federal courts asking judges to rule the suspension was illegal.
In a hearing that occurred late Saturday, a federal judge in New York issued a stay of deportation, temporarily preventing those being detained at the border from being removed from the United States. However, it is still unclear how those who are currently traveling will be affected by the stay.
Shortly after the stay was entered, the media and official statements from the Department of Homeland Security clarified that current lawful permanent residents (green card holders) from the 7 countries listed above would be allowed to reenter the United States.
This means that U.S. visa holders (those without green cards) from the 7 countries listed above, who are currently traveling abroad and have not yet returned will likely not be granted reentry to the U.S. by Customs and Border Patrol.
What To Do If You Are An Immigrant to the United States
For Immigrants from One of the Seven Banned Countries:
If you are currently in the United States and from one of the seven countries listed above, we suggest that you postpone any international travel plans for the next 90 days.
We understand that within the next 90 days you may have vacations planned, work obligations, and/or other personal events happening outside of the United States. If there is something that you simply cannot miss, we recommend that you consult with a licensed immigration attorney as soon as possible to discuss what options (if any) may be available to you.
We also recommend keeping a close watch on any updates to this immigration executive order. Many legal experts believe the Courts may rule that it is unconstitutional.
For Immigrants NOT from One of the Banned Countries:
A key takeaway from this immigration executive order is that we simply do not know when President Trump’s administration will make changes to our country’s immigration policies.
We do know that this administration appears to be serious about restricting immigration and because of that, we recommend putting yourself in the safest position possible now.
If you are eligible to apply for naturalization (become a U.S. citizen) that is your safest path to protecting your legal status.
If you currently do not have a clear path to citizenship, we recommend consulting with an immigration attorney to discuss your best options for moving forward.
What Else Should I Know About this Immigration Executive Order?
Trump also ordered a 4-month (120 days) suspension of the United States’ entire refugee program. And it was also ordered that the U.S. halt issuing visas to Syrian refugees indefinitely – until such time President Trump is satisfied with “vetting” procedures for Syrian nationals seeking refuge in the U.S. We do not know how long this could take.
The State Department will also now require an interview for all visa applicants (with exceptions for those under 14, over 79, or who previously held a similar visa).
The order also calls for “extreme vetting,” but it was not clear on what exact measures will be taken.
A lack of clarity on specifics has been commonplace with Trump throughout his campaign as well as in the first days of his presidency.
It is now clear that there are no guarantees from this administration when it comes to immigration. We understand that this lack of clarity only increases the level of anxiety felt by those who are going to be affected.
Because it is highly unlikely for the government to alter or rescind the availability of certain immigration benefits (like green cards and citizenship/naturalization), our top recommendation is to apply for and/or renew the highest level of immigration benefit available to you (and to do so at the earliest possible time you can). If possible for you, the time to act is now.
If you believe you are eligible for immigration benefits, you can check your eligibility for various different immigration benefits here.
If you are ready to apply now, you can create an account and complete your immigration application(s) quickly & easily online. Our software helps check for common errors and mistakes people make when filling out their application and it is free to try.
After you complete an application on our system, the software provides precise, easy to follow instructions to file with USCIS. That means no needing to deal with USCIS’ often confusing website and instructions.
For more information on how our software works with some of the most popular immigration applications, see below for the form that is applicable to you right now:
We will continue to keep you updated on the latest immigration news and how it impacts you. We are committed to helping you remain in the U.S. to live, work, raise your families, and pursue your American Dream.
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