Since the start of his presidency, President Trump has issued several executive orders. The latest and perhaps most controversial in the series came this past Friday, January 27, 2017. On Friday, President Trump issued an executive order titled, "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States." Below is a summary of the Order and it's implications.
Suspension of United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days:
The Order suspends the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During this time, the Department of State along with the Department of Homeland Security will review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine whether they need to implement additional procedures to ensure that those who are approved do not pose a threat to the United States. During the 120 day halt, limited exceptions may be made for individual refugees on a case-by-case basis if it is in the national interest (this includes when an individual is a part of a religious minority in his/her country of citizenship and is facing prosecution because of it), when admitting an individual would conform under a preexisting international agreement, or when the individual is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship.
Indefinite Ban on Syrian Refugees:
The President's Executive Order places an indefinite ban on incoming Syrian refugees. The Order states that the ban is in place until the President determines that sufficient changes have been made to ensure that USRAP aligns with US national interests.
90 Day Ban on Entry for Individuals of Seven Predominantly Muslim Countries:
The Order places a ban on individuals looking to enter the United States from seven predominantly Muslim nations. They are Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This excludes diplomats, NATO visas, C-2's (United Nations related visa), and G visas (international organization officials, employees, and their family members).
Suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program (VIWP):
The President's Order now requires that the Department of State immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program. Going forward, nonimmigrant visa applicants will need to attend a personal interview unless an interview is not required by statute. Until now, visa interview waivers have been granted to low-risk travelers who have already been vetted by the US government. Examples include individuals who have demonstrated a track record of stable employment, stable travel, and/or have a history of low-security risk.
Screening of All Immigration Benefits:
The Order directs federal agencies to develop screening standards and procedures for all immigration benefits to identify fraud and detect whether an individual intends to do harm upon entering the United States.
Completion of an Integrated Biometrics Entry-Exit System:
The President has ordered federal agencies to expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system. This system will keep track of every traveler entering and exiting the United States. The Department of Homeland Security has 100 days from the date of the Order to submit an initial report outlining the progress made towards completion of the system.
*** UPDATE: On January 28, 2017, an emergency petition was filed with US District Court Judge (Eastern District of New York), Ann Donnelly. Judge Donnelly issued an emergency order that prohibits the removal of individuals with refugee applications that have been approved by US Citizenship and Immigration Services, holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and other individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen that are already legally authorized to enter the United States. This case is ongoing, and the Order issued by Judge Donnelly is meant to act as a temporary fix until a full hearing on the merits of the petition can be addressed by the Court.
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