Trump’s Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”: Latest News and Summary

The Latest

Enforcement and interpretation of President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” are evolving rapidly, so check back here for updates.

2017-02-16: The Trump administration plans to unveil a revised EO on immigration next week and rescind the president’s initial travel ban, which has been entrenched in legal battles throughout the country, as reported in The Hill. President Trump said during a news conference on Thursday that he would unveil a more tailored travel ban “next week sometime.” The U.S. Department of Justice similarly informed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the Washington v. Trump litigation: “Rather than continuing this litigation, the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns.”

2017-02-09:  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied the government’s motion for stay of the district court’s temporary restraining order (TRO). Translation: The TRO suspending implementation of the EO remains in place. The government may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading “Trump’s Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”: Latest News and Summary”

Green Card Holders Staying Abroad Over 6 Months Risk Abandonment

What do you need to do to preserve your status as a lawful permanent resident (LPR)? If you are abroad for 6 months or more per year, you risk “abandoning” your green card. This is especially true after multiple prolonged absences or after a prior warning by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the airport.

Feb. 1, 2017 update: It’s not clear whether the drafters of Trump’s Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” overlooked the fact that the entry bar for nationals seven countries (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen) could impact hundreds of thousands of LPRs. The EO was issued without normal interagency review. During the first hours of enforcement of the EO, some LPRs were reportedly denied entry to the U.S. This led to federal court litigation and public outcry. See, for example, these stories in The Atlantic and National Review linking to our firm’s U.S. & China Visa Law Blog. On Jan. 29, DHS Secretary John Kelly and a DHS Fact Sheet awkwardly applied to LPRs the supposedly case-by-case “national interest” exception of the ban, saying that LPRs “traveling on a valid I-551 will be allowed to board U.S. bound aircraft and will be assessed for exceptions at arrival ports of entry, as appropriate.  The entry of  these individuals, subject to national security checks, is in the national interest.” On February 1, 2017, Donald F. McGahn II, Counsel to the President, wrote a memo to “clarify” that the entry ban does not apply to lawful permanent residents. This appears to be a face-saving measure that amends the EO without the embarrassment of actually having Trump sign the amendment. That’s a victory, but LPRs with ties to restricted countries should still be prepared for possibly prolonged and rigorous inspection of your person, luggage, electronic devices, and social media accounts focusing on, among other issues, whether LPR status has been abandoned, religious beliefs, and political views. Continue reading “Green Card Holders Staying Abroad Over 6 Months Risk Abandonment”

Quick Takes on U.S. & China Visa Law News

Who Should Be Called an Expat? (BBC, Jan. 20): The terms “expat” and “migrant” carry many connotations about class, education and privilege. / Words matter. Luckily, U.S. immigration law doesn’t use those loaded terms. it has enough trouble with the terms “immigrant” and “alien.”

Former Wife of Fugitive Chinese Official Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Commit Immigration Fraud Related to EB-5 Investor Visa (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement News Release, Jan. 10): The ex-wife of a former Chinese government official has pleaded guilty to charges that she conspired to fraudulently obtain visas to enter the United States through the immigrant investor program. Zhao Shilan (趙世蘭) admitted to submitting to USCIS false documents making it appear that her investment funds were earned legally and a false marriage certificate making it appear that she was married to her ex-husband so that he could immigrate with her.

More Quick Takes on the News: Continue reading “Quick Takes on U.S. & China Visa Law News”