Federal District Court blocks Trump’s Executive Order barring refugees and foreign nationals of certain countries from entering the United States

Posted by on in Immigration and Firm News
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 450
  • Subscribe to this entry

 

On January 30, 2017, the State of Washington filed suit in Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington, (State of Washington v. Trump) challenging the legality and constitutionality of President Trump’s Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The Executive Order bars the entry of refugees from any country in the world for a period of 120 days, bars Syrian refugees from entering the United States indefinitely and bars the entry of nationals from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Yemen for at least 90 days.

In its lawsuit, the State of Washington also requested a temporary restraining order (“TRO” or a temporary block) on the enforcement of Trump's Executive Order until the Court decides the constitutional questions raised by the State of Washington in the lawsuit.

On February 3, 2017, Judge Robart for the Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a TRO temporarily prohibiting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing President Trump’s Executive Order. The Trump administration's request that  the TRO be "stayed" was denied by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals early Sunday morning.

The TRO was issued one week after the Trump Administration signed and began immediate implementation of the Executive Order, causing chaos at U.S. ports of entry and airports around the world.

As a result of the TRO,  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it is “back to business as usual,” for the time being, and that it will continue with regular screening and processing the entrance of refugees with valid travel documentation and individuals from the seven countries with valid visas to enter the United States.

The U.S. State Department also announced that visas for foreign nationals of the seven listed countries that were “provisionally cancelled” last week as a result of the Executive Order, have been reinstated.

Additionally, CBP has stated that any visas that were physically cancelled at ports of entry last week because of the Executive Order, will not need a new application, and individuals traveling on those visas should receive a waiver in order to enter the United States.

Judge Robart’s ruling came after a week of conflicting information, and some reversals by the administration.

Immediately after the signing of the Executive Order on January 27, 2017, the administration took the position that the Order applied to lawful permanent residents (green card holders) of the United States returning from trips abroad as well as individuals from the seven countries who were also dual citizens/nationals of other countries not listed.

Over the course of the week, the administration reversed, stating that returning lawful permanent residents would not be subject to the bar, and that dual nationals holding U.S. visas issued in passports of non-barred countries would also be considered for admission to the United States.

The TRO that is currently in place is a temporary prohibition on the enforcement of the Executive Order.  Both the State of Washington and the U.S. Department of Justice will submit briefing on the legal issues to the Court this week and additional hearings will be held. Therefore, the status of the Executive Order remains fluid and is subject to change over the course of the coming days, weeks and months.

Individuals from the seven listed countries: Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Iran and Yemen, should carefully review these updated recommendations:

Nonimmigrants and immigrants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Iran or Yemen outside the United States: If you are a foreign national of Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Iran or Yemen who has a valid, unexpired nonimmigrant or immigrant visa to the United States, you should currently be permitted to board a flight to the United States and undergo standard inspection at the Port of Entry at the  airport upon your arrival to the United States.  Individuals whose visas were "provisionally" cancelled earlier this week, should now be able to use those visas to request admission into the United States.

Nonimmigrants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Iran or Yemen inside the United States: If you are a foreign national of Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Iran or Yemen living, working, or studying inside the United States on a valid visa or nonimmigrant status, you should be very cautious about any travel outside of the United States at this time.  We continue to recommend that you defer all non-essential travel. If you must travel, we recommend that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney to be sure you understand the potential risks to your status, visa and ability to return to the United States in the future.

Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Iran or Yemen: If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States and a national of Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Iran or Yemen, we recommend that you defer non-essential travel outside of the United States for at least 90 days.  If you must travel outside of the United States, please be aware that you will be subject to secondary inspection upon your return to the United States and undergo "enhanced screening" before you can be admitted into the United States. This may include a review of social media and questioning regarding religious, social and political views.

For more information, please contact Kolko & Associates, P.C. For the most up-to-date information, we encourage you to follow “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter as well.

K & A Monthly Newsletter

Please sign up for our monthly Email Newsletter.

Office Location and Directions

Kolko & Associates, P.C.
303 East 17th Avenue
Suite 585
Denver, Colorado 80203

Call us today:
303-371-1822
Fax:
303-373-1822

Connect with us

© 2016 Kolko & Associates
Disclaimer | Sitemap
Attorney Website Design by Legal Web Design

Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.