What You Need to Know about the Trump Administration’s Executive Orders on Immigration and a Look Ahead
On January 25, the Trump Administration issued two executive orders on immigration, both of which signal the administration’s plan to implement the restrictive immigration policies espoused during the presidential campaign. The orders, effectively immediately, provide for the following:
In addition to the above, there are various other provisions requiring various data gathering and reporting.
The administration is expected to issue additional immigration-related executive orders, perhaps as early as today. According to reports, the most significant of these orders is likely to temporarily restrict visa issuance to and entry into the U.S. of nationals from “countries of concern” while the immigration agencies review and strengthen their procedures for “vetting” applicants. The initial list of “countries of concern” will likely include all or some of Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Iran. Foreign nationals from these countries who intend to apply for a visa or enter the U.S. should do so as soon as possible to avoid ramifications of the order.
In addition, the coming orders are expected to effectively end the refugee admission program for Syrians and temporarily halt refugee admissions from other countries, while also reducing the number of refugee admissions to 50,000 in 2017.
The order also is expected to end the Visa Interview Waiver Program that currently provides streamlined visa issuance, and provide for a review of visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that the fees and validity periods for visas issued to U.S. citizens by other countries are similar to what the U.S. provides for nationals of those countries.
It is important to note that many of these policies are simply a return to those that were in place before President Obama took office in 2009, such as the agreements with local law enforcement (known as the “Secure Communities” initiative), while others are merely a shift in priorities under existing law. For example, the law requiring construction of the “border wall” was passed several years ago, although a lack of Congressional funding, changing immigration enforcement priorities, and various legal and engineering challenges have stalled actual construction.
In addition, many of the provisions, while onerous, cannot be implemented without new or additional Congressional funding, and it remains to be seen whether Congress will agree to provide those funds.
If you have any questions about these executive actions or any other immigration issues, please contact us.
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Immigration law news and updates from the attorneys at Steel, Doebley & Glassman