Executive Order Updates

This page is intended to provide information and resources to international students regarding recent Executive Orders pertaining to immigration.  This page is not intended to give any legal advice.  Students who are directly impacted are advised to contact an immigration attorney for assistance.  ISSS has references for immigration attorneys which are available upon request. 

 Updates

On September 24, 2017 President Trump issued a Proclamation pursuant to the previous Executive Order which included the travel ban. Please note that how this Proclamation will be implemented is still uncertain, and therefore students who may be directly impacted should consult ISSS and an immigration attorney prior to any travel outside the United States.

The new proclamation contains restrictions for admission into the United States, visa issuance, and increased visa scrutiny for nationals of the following countries: Chad; Iran; Libya; North Korea; Syria; Venezuela; Yemen; and Somalia. With the exception of nationals of Syria and North Korea, it appears holders of valid F-1 and J-1 visas from the above listed countries are still eligible to seek admission into the United States. However, other classifications (such as tourist visas) appear to be barred from entry based upon this proclamation, though an exact timeline is unclear at this time.

ISSS will continue to provide updates as they become available. The proclamation may be read in full, here. NAFSA also will continue to post updates on reactions to and implementation of this Proclamation, here.  Again, all students from the eight currently designated countries (Chad; Iran; Libya; North Korea; Syria; Venezuela; Yemen; Somalia) are advised to avoid any unnecessary travel at this time and to consult ISSS before travelling outside the United States.

July 12, 2017: The U.S. Department of State has sent a cable to consular offices regarding aspects of the executive order pertaining to a worldwide review of information needed from countries for visa, admission, or benefit issuance. Under the Executive Order, a framework is established for a future indefinite entry bar that could apply to any country which the United States determines has not provided the information deemed necessary for national security purposes. As of this posting (July 20, 2017), there is no indication that any such bar is set to go into effect for any particular country. Should a bar of any kind become implemented in the future, ISSS will provide information to any impacted students.

More information is available on NAFSA’s website, here.

Supreme Court of the United States (in response to the cases below): On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to grant certiorari, which means that they agree to schedule a briefing to hear the case in full in October 2017 (please note: the Court has also stated that this is partially dependent upon whether the argument is moot by then, as the 90 days would have theoretically passed). In addition, the Court has reinstated parts of the Executive Order pertaining to the travel ban, as it pertains to foreign nationals of the 6 impacted countries who cannot display a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The Court has described such a relationship as follows:

“The facts of these [above described] cases illustrate the sort of relationship that qualifies. For individuals, a close familial relation¬ship is required. A foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, like Doe’s wife or Dr. Elshikh’s mother-in-law, clearly has such a relationship. As for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO–2. The stu¬dents from the designated countries who have been admit¬ted to the University of Hawaii have such a relationship with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American com-pany or a lecturer invited to address an American audi¬ence. Not so someone who enters into a relationship sim- ply to avoid §2(c): For example, a nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from their exclusion.”

The details of how this will be implemented and who is responsible for determining the nature of relationships and the validity of the relationship as it pertains to the Court’s ruling is still unclear/yet to be determined. Please check in for updates as they become more available. Students from the 6 impacted countries are, as before, advised to avoid travel if possible and to consult an immigration attorney before travelling if such travel is unavoidable.

The Court’s decision may be read in full, here.

State of Hawai'i v. Trump: On June 12, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld portions of the Hawai’i District Court’s preliminary injunction, meaning that the 90 day travel ban will continue to be blocked unless a court rules otherwise at a later date. The Court found that the President had “exceeded the scope of authority delegated to him by Congress.” However, the Ninth Circuit also lifted the block on Section 2 of the Executive Order. This section pertains to setting a framework for a future indefinite entry bar that could be applied to a country that is found to be unwilling or unable to provide the U.S. with information it deems necessary for national security reasons.

International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump (Maryland): On June 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (representing President Trump) filed an appeal to the United States Supreme Court regarding the Fourth Circuit’s decision (in the Maryland case). This appeal asks the Supreme Court to put an emergency stay on the injunctions, which would reinstitute the travel ban immediately. A decision on this could be made in the next few weeks by the Supreme Court. The Department of Justice has also filed for a full appeal to overturn the lower courts’ decisions. If the Supreme Court chooses to hear the full appeal this will likely be heard and decided on in the coming months. On May 25, 2017, the appeals court upheld the preliminary injunction. This preliminary injunction was issued in reference to the 90 day travel bar. It prevent enforcement of the 90 day travel bar nationwide. The appeals court’s decision may be viewed in full here. This case will likely continue to proceed through additional appeals.

Travel Information for Students From the 6 Impacted Countries

 (Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and Syria)

ISSS is providing the following travel ban details for nationals from the six countries below (based on the advisory from NAFSA: Association of International Educators):

The new Executive Order affects citizens of six of the seven countries that had been selected in the prior 90-day bar. Iraq has been removed from the list of countries in the new executive order.
1. Iran
2. Libya
3. Somalia
4. Sudan
5. Syria
6. Yemen

An Executive Order FAQ states, “Per the Executive Order, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, who are outside the United States and who did not have a valid visa at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 27, 2017, and do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order are not eligible to enter the United States while the temporary suspension remains in effect. Thus any individual who had a valid visa either on January 27, 2017 (prior to 5:00 PM) or holds a valid visa on the effective date of the Executive Order is not barred from entry.”

“Based on a preliminary reading of the new Executive Order and a DHS FAQ and Fact Sheet, the new entry bar will not apply to the following individuals who are citizens or nationals of one of the 6 countries:

•U.S. lawful permanent residents in possession of a valid Form I-551 (green card) or temporary I-551 stamp

•Holders of a currently valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visa that was either: Approved prior to 5:00 eastern standard time January 27, 2017, or; Is valid as of March 6, 2017

•Dual citizens of one of the 6 countries and the United States (such individuals are always considered U.S. citizens)

•Dual citizens of one of the 6 countries and another country not on the list of 6, who will enter the United States on the basis of a valid passport issued by the country not on the list of 6

•Individuals who are citizens of one of the 6 countries who do not fall within one of the above-listed exceptions, would be subject to the new entry bar.”

Based on the information above, ISSS recommends the following: international students (F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2 and other non-immigrant classifications) who are nationals of one or more of the six temporary travel-banned countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen) that do not meet one of the listed exceptions should not travel out of the United States during, and perhaps even beyond, the 90 day temporary period of the travel ban. More specifically, for the time being, this includes international students who are citizens, residents and/or those affiliated by birth to one or more of the six travel-banned countries in the EO.

Due to the nuances of the executive order, ISSS recommends avoiding any non-essential travel during this time period for all students from these impacted countries. If you are from one of the six countries and plan to travel outside the United States, ISSS recommends consulting an immigration attorney first. Secondly, visit ISSS to read and sign a travel waiver form, and if necessary, obtain an I-20/DS-2019 travel signature. ISSS can provide attorney references upon request.

 

Resources and Additional Information

NAFSA's Executive Order Entry Ban Litigation Updates

SUNY's Office of General Counsel Immigration Update July 2017

SUNY's Office of General Counsel March 17, 2017 Memo on the travel ban

Full Text of Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States (issued March 6, 2017)

SUNY Information on Changes in Federal Policies for SUNY Students, Faculty and Staff

Updated AILA Travel Warning

NYCLU Know your Rights