New Executive Orders on Immigration
Today, we are learning more about the Executive Orders that have been signed by the President of the United States concerning immigration and our attorneys are diligently working to understand what changes we can expect and how these changes may affect our clients. This is a brief summary on what we know now and we will update you as we learn more about how these orders will impact you.
It is our understanding that one of the Executive Orders that has been signed concerns the building of a wall along the southern border, the end of catch and release at the border, a crackdown on sanctuary cities, and an increase in Customs and Border Protection Officers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers. It is unclear at this time how these orders will be implemented, but we do expect to see some increased immigration enforcement along the southern border and within our local detention centers when criminal arrests are made.
We have been able to review the text of the Executive Order regarding the refugee program and there are several concerning prongs that may affect our clients who are abroad or have family members who are abroad. There is a 30 day suspension on entries of individuals from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya. There may be additional countries added to that list upon a review by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Admissions may be allowed on a case-by-case basis if in the national interest. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) will be suspended for 120 days and an indefinite cease of refugee processing and admittance of nationals of Syria. There is also a 50,000 cap on refugees that can be processed and admitted for Fiscal Year 2017. There is also an allowance here for a case-by-case admission of individuals if in the national interest. The President has also ordered a suspension on the waiver of interviews for non-immigrant visas, has ordered that a biometric entry-exit tracking system be completed and implemented, and has ordered that the Secretary of State ensures that Visa Waiver Program entrants are subject to the same visa validity, fee schedules, or other treatment as United States citizens are granted in the reciprocal country.
Many of the orders involve the implementation of programs and a reporting to the President on the creation of those programs and thus, we do not have immediate information available on how these will come into play. For example, the biometric entry-exit tracking system was recommended many years ago, by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States but no program has yet been created and implemented. It will likely take some time for such a program to be created. We will certainly keep our clients updated as we receive more information.
To the best of our current information, there has been no executive action to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). However, if you are considering filing an initial application, filing a renewal, or filing for or traveling on Advanced Parole, we highly recommend speaking with one of our immigration attorneys who can advise you on the risks and benefits of proceeding with each of those actions.
A lot of our clients have been reaching out to us to ask what they can and should do. We can certainly never give blanket advice, as each and every case is different. We recommend that anyone who has questions schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys to review their case and determine if any affirmative steps can be taken. We certainly can expect to see increased immigration enforcement (or even just the continued aggressive enforcement that we have seen) and often, if we can file applications before such enforcement occurs, we can help our clients avoid deportation or return to the United States more quickly.
If you have questions regarding your case and what you may be able to do, please contact our offices at (919) 828-5570 and schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys.