The March 6th Executive Order Regarding Immigration

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March 15, 2017


On January 27th, one week after assuming the presidency, Donald Trump signed his Executive Order that instantly stopped immigration from seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen), and left many questions unanswered about how to interpret and apply the provisions contained therein. I wrote about that executive order and its related litigation in the Spring issue of the EASL Journal.

On March 6th, Donald Trump signed a new Executive Order, this time taking into account the opinion of the Ninth Circuit and making some noticeable revisions to his prior order. Some of the notable provisions of this new executive order include: (1) a list of six countries, rather than the seven – Iraq has been noticeably omitted, because it has made enhancements in its immigration system and government operations; (2) lawful permanent residents (green-card holders) and those who have valid visas from those six countries shall not be automatically denied entry to the U.S.; (3) there are nine situations in which waivers may be available for nationals of those six countries to enter the U.S.; (4) “Any prior cancellation or revocation of a visa that was solely pursuant to Executive Order 13769 shall not be the basis of inadmissibility for any future determination about entry or admissibility”; (5) suspended for 120 days a U.S. refugee resettlement program; and (6) the Executive Order shall become effective as of 12:01 am (EDT) on March 16, 2017.

Since signing the Executive Order on March 6th, (i) the state of Hawaii filed suit to stop its enactment, arguing that it will harm Muslims in the state, and has had a “‘chilling effect’ on travel revenues”, and (ii) Washington state filed an amended complaint seeking to further enjoin the order. Joined by five other states (New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, California, and Oregon), Washington argues that the prior injunction should be applied to the new Executive Order, which “will cause severe and immediate harms to the States”. Of course, considering that the Executive Order has not yet gone into effect, there are also questions of ripeness and standing.

In both matters, hearings are scheduled for March 15, 2017, so hold onto your hats!

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/06/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

http://www.voanews.com/a/four-us-states-challenge-donald-trump-travel-ban/3757550.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-idUSKBN16K264

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/07/politics/hawaii-travel-ban-lawsuit/

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