The Trump Travel Ban — New Rules For Immigrants, Refugees and US Citizens

Jan 28, 2017

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Update 1/29/17 1:00pm: The White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus announced today on NBC’s Meet the Press that the President’s executive order would not affect immigrants with permanent green cards from the seven named countries. However, the White House has yet to officially confirm this new interpretation.

Update 1/28/17 9:30pm: A federal judge has granted an emergency stay requested by the ACLU allowing those who landed in the US with a valid visa to remain in the country. It does not allow those people to enter the US, but rather only prevents them from being returned to their country of origin. Others with valid visas or green cards who have not yet begun their journey will still not be allowed to travel to the US.

Update 1/28/17 7:15pm: Hundreds of protesters have gathered at JFK airport…

Some — but not all — airlines have begun to offer change and cancellation fee waivers for those impacted by the new travel restrictions. For a list of airlines and fee waivers, click here.

Update 1/28/17 6:20pm:

Update 1/28/17 3:00pm: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that it has obtained an advance copy of a statement from the State Department which indicates “Travelers who have nationality or dual nationality of one of these countries will not be permitted for 90 days to enter the United States or be issued an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa” [emphasis added]. This means people from the 7 restricted countries who travel on other passports, such as an Iranian with a British passport, will also not be granted entry to the US.

Also, The New York Times is reporting that protests are forming at JFK airport, where at least 10 people are being detained.

Late yesterday President Donald Trump signed an executive order closing the United States to Syrian refugees indefinitely, closing the border to refugees from all other countries for the next 120 days and severely limiting immigration from seven countries — Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — for the next 90 days. This is causing ripple effects at airports around the world for people attempting to fly to the United States, and in some cases, for those who have already arrived.

While the full ramifications of the order are still not clear, the following restrictions are now being enforced by US Customs and Border Protection, under a directive issued by the Department of Homeland Security according to the New York Daily News:

  • All nationals with or without visas from the seven listed countries are being denied entry to the United States. This includes all non-diplomatic visas, such as student and H-1B worker visas. Those who may already have visas but have not yet traveled to the US are not being allowed to board aircraft in overseas countries.
  • In some cases, passengers who were already on board airplanes when the order was signed were removed from those planes and not allowed to travel. There are also a number of cases where nationals were in flight when the order became effective — the status of those passengers is unclear. Several are being detained at US ports of entry and may be returned to their countries of origin.
  • A US law enforcement source has told the Associated Press that green card holders are also included in the executive order, which means legal permanent residents who were traveling abroad when the order went into effect will not be allowed to return to the US for at least 90 days. While there is an exemption for immigrants and legal permanent residents whose entry is in the US national interest, there are no details on how that exemption will be applied.
  • US citizens are not affected by the restrictions on entry into the United States; however, Iran, one of the seven countries named in the order, has already reacted by banning US citizens from entering Iran. It is possible other countries will follow suit.
  • American diplomatic posts around the world have been told to stop interviewing and cease issuance and printing of visas to the United States for nationals of the seven countries “effective immediately.”

Events continue to be in flux as government agencies determine how to enforce the order and immigration advocates and attorneys respond. Two Iraqis being detained at New York JFK have filed a class action lawsuit against the Trump Administration, but one of those men has since been released. The technology giant Google attempted to recall any staff traveling overseas who may be subject to the ban and said more than 100 of its employees were potentially affected by the order.

Meanwhile, an anonymous House Republican source told CNN’s Jake Tapper that passengers in transit were supposed to be exempt:

For the moment, nationals and refugees who are already in the United States are not affected by the order.

Featured image courtesy of Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

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