Constangy FYI

As expected, President Trump today signed a new “travel ban” Executive Order that revokes the EO he issued on January 27. The new EO will take effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT on March 16. 

The original EO (Executive Order 13769) imposed a 90-day suspension on entry into the United States of anyone from a list of seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) and a 120-day suspension of entry under the United States Refugee Admissions Program. It did not clearly specify what the status would be of immigrants from the seven countries who had permanent legal residency in the United States (“green card” holders), or who held dual citizenship. And because the EO was issued without prior notice, chaos ensued at U.S. airports as immigrants who had left for the United States before the EO was issued were denied entry when they arrived after the EO was issued. 

In February, a federal court in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order blocking the EO from taking effect, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused to stay (suspend) the TRO while the government appealed. Not long afterward, the Trump Administration decided to forgo litigation and, instead, to issue a new EO that would attempt to address the courts’ concerns. 

The new EO provides a rationale for the list of “banned” countries and eliminates Iraq from the list. (In other words, there are only six countries on the list now.) The suspension period remains 90 days from the effective date of the EO. The new EO specifically states that it does NOT apply to immigrants who have permanent legal status in the United States, foreign nationals with valid visas, and dual nationals who are traveling to the United States “on a passport issued by a non-designated country,” among others. 

The 90-day ban now applies only to foreign nationals from the six countries who (1) are not currently in the United States as of March 16, (2) did not have a valid visa as of 5 p.m. EST on January 27 (the date of the original EO), and (3) do not have a valid visa as of March 16. 

The refugee ban remains in place for 120 days from March 16, but it does not apply to applicants “who, before the effective date of this order, have been formally scheduled for transit by the Department of State.” 

We are continuing to review the new EO and will follow up with a more comprehensive Immigration Dispatch as soon as possible.

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