February 01, 2017

Executive Order Update


The Executive Order issued on January 27th restricts U.S. entry and visa issuance for individuals from certain nations, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. A draft Executive Order adding more countries to this list is currently being circulated, although a copy has not been made available publicly. It is rumored that countries that may be added include Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia, Venezuela, southern Philippines, trans- Sahara (Mali), and Sulu-Sulawesi Seas Littoral. The draft Order has not been signed by the President and may not be signed, but in the best interest of our clients, we recommend that individuals from these listed countries or areas refrain from traveling internationally, or return to the U.S. immediately if currently abroad.

The January 27th Executive Order called for a 90-day suspension of all travelers from seven countries seeking entry to the U.S. All immigrant and nonimmigrant nationals from these countries would not be permitted to enter the U.S. or be issued a visa for at least 90 days. Adjudications of other immigration benefits issued by the Department of Homeland Security may also be suspended by the Executive Order. If the rumored, additional draft Executive Order is signed, it is likely that individuals from the above-named additional countries and areas will also be subject to a 90-day suspension.

For those individuals with dual citizenship: currently, dual nationals are being permitted to enter the U.S. after additional questioning if they are traveling on a non-affected passport, such as a Canadian passport.

The Department of Homeland Security has some discretion regarding the admission of Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), and in most cases, LPRs are being admitted to the U.S. after additional questioning. We still recommend that LPRs from the affected countries refrain from international travel if at all possible. If international travel is required, LPRs should not surrender their green cards if asked to do so. They should not sign Form I-407, Record of Abandonment, without the prior advice of legal counsel. LPRs are not required to sign the form and neither failure to sign nor abandonment is grounds for detention. An LPR who refuses to sign Form I-407 must be issued a Notice to Appear so that an immigration judge can determine whether he or she has lost LPR status. An LPR who is placed in removal proceedings does not lose his or her status until a final order of removal is issued.

To best serve our clients, we will continue to monitor these developments and provide additional information once it is available. If you have any questions regarding the draft Executive Order or its impact, please contact our office.

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