Trump Ban Update: DHS Secretary Will Admit Lawful Permanent Residents in the “National Interest”
Late Sunday afternoon, on January 29, 2017, Secretary John Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security released a statement indicating that the entry of lawful permanent residents is in the national interest of the United States. The Secretary’s statement provided much needed clarification to the confusion surrounding the applicability of the President’s Executive Order - “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry in the United States”- to lawful permanent residents who are nationals of the seven designated countries - Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. While the Secretary’s recent statement indicates that the Executive Order will no longer restrict travel or the re-entry of lawful permanent residents from the seven designated countries to the United States, the admission of such lawful permanent residents may still be subject to “extreme vetting” on a case-by-case basis, and could still be denied admission. Reports we have received since the Secretary issued this statement confirm that permanent residents from the designated countries are still being detained in secondary inspection for two or more hours upon reentry. As the implementation of the Executive Order by the appropriate government agencies is continuously evolving, we advise foreign nationals from the affected countries, including lawful permanent residents, to refrain from traveling outside the United States while the Executive Order remains in effect. We will provide a comprehensive review on the Executive Order shortly. We also invite you and your employees to attend an open forum webinar to discuss all of the recent changes to U.S. immigration policy. Should you have any immediate questions, please contact our office.
We are also anticipating further Executive Orders affecting current US immigration. Drafts of three additional Executive Orders were leaked to the media on January 27, 2017. These drafts address “public charge” issues, rescission of the DACA program, and employment immigration for foreign workers. We will provide information on these possible Executive Orders once more information has been released.