June 30, 2017

Supreme Court: DHS and DOS Can Implement Limited Travel Ban

On Monday, June 26, 2017 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Department of Homeland Security can begin to implement parts of President Donald Trump’s Executive Orders Nos. 13769 and 13780. The Supreme Court narrowed the scope of the Executive Orders, permitting application only to those who do not have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. Citizens of the six blocked countries will be able to enter the United States if they can show a bona fide relationship to the United States including the following: a close family relationship to someone in the U.S.; students admitted to study at a U.S. university; workers who have accepted an offer of employment from a company in the U.S.; and lecturers invited to speak to an American audience. Enforcement began yesterday, June 29, 2017 at 8 p.m. EDT.

The Department of Homeland Security has advised that the Executive Orders’ travel restrictions do not apply to the following:

Lawful permanent residents;

  • Any foreign national admitted to or paroled into the U.S. on or after June 26, 2017;
  • Nonimmigrant visa categories: A-1, A-2, NATO 1 through NATO 6, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4;
  • Any foreign national who has been granted asylum, any refugee who has already been admitted to the U.S., or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture;
  • Any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on June 26, 2017 or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document;
  • Aliens who present at the port of entry boarding foils, including YY or ZZ board foils, or transportation letters, including those documents issued to follow-to-join asylees;
  • Dual Nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who are traveling on a passport issued by a country other than one of those six countries;
  • Any national who has obtained a waiver pursuant to the terms of the EO or any individuals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States;
  • Any individual seeking admission as a refugee who, before 8p.m. EDT on June 29, 2017, was formally scheduled for transit by the Department of State. After 8p.m. EDT on June 29, 2017, if a first-time refugee is issued travel documents, those documents are evidence that the refugee has been cleared for travel and the EO will not apply.

The Department of State has also provided guidance that a close familial relationship includes a parent, parent-in-law, spouse, fiancé, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling whether whole or half, and step relationships. Furthermore, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and any other extended family are not considered to be close familial relationships by Department of State. A final ruling on the legality of the Executive Orders will be made after the Supreme Court hears the full case in October.

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