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Trump Suspends U.S. Entry By Nationals of Seven Predominantly Muslim Countries

January 26, 2017Alerts Immigration Alert

An executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” is expected to be issued on Jan. 26, 2017 and will have the immediate effect of blocking entry into the United States by anyone born in seven named countries – including lawful permanent residents who are natives of those countries.

President Trump says in the draft text: “I hereby find that the immigrant and non-immigrant entry into the United States of aliens from (… Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria) would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or non-immigrants, of such persons for 30 days from the date of this order."

Those to whom this “suspended entry” applies or may apply should beware. For some, this will delay a return to the United States; for others, this may force cancellation or delay of travel.

It isn’t clear what is meant by the term “aliens from,” but the tone of the order in general and the title of the section in which the phrase is found suggest it is meant to include all nationals of those seven countries being barred from entry into the United States for 30 days. A person is a national of the country in which he or she was born.

Permanent residents or non-immigrant visa holders who were born in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya or Syria, regardless of current citizenship should expect NOT to be admitted or readmitted to the United States for at least the next 30 days.

The Executive Order goes on to “suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days,” to “cease refugee processing … and the admittance of nationals of Syria as refugees …” and “… to process and admit only a total of 50,000 refugees during fiscal year 2017.” The total authorized had been 110,000 for FY17, and approximately 30,000 have been resettled so far this fiscal year. .

The full extent of the implementation of this and other Executive Orders remains to be seen. There is an immediate effect upon non-citizens born in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria and all refugees, especially Syrians, seeking admission to the United States.