Update on Enforcement of Executive Orders
It has been a busy weekend since the Executive Orders were signed and our country is seeing some of the immediate implications, particularly relating to the 90 day travel ban for immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya. Due to the expansiveness of the Order, we are advising anyone who is a national of any of the seven countries not to travel, even if they are lawful permanent residents or dual citizens.
There have been legal battles fought across the country as immigrants with previously issued visas, as well as lawful permanent residents, are being held at airports across the country and are being prevented from boarding their flights to the United States. The federal courts have issued various restraining orders, some limited in their scope and jurisdiction, to prevent the enforcement of parts of the Executive Order. Specifically, in the Eastern District of New York, a temporary injunction was signed on Friday night preventing the deportations of individuals arriving from these countries. In Massachusetts, an injunction was signed that applies only to Boston-Logan Airport preventing deportations, but also requiring the CBP advise the airlines that they should not be preventing passengers from boarding their flights into that airport. In Washington DC, an order was signed ordering access to counsel. Reports from across the country have surfaced, however, that these judicial orders may not be being followed. A press release from the administration itself states that the Executive Order will be enforced. In a third paragraph, it does indicate that judicial orders will be followed, however, it contradicts other statements within the press release. There are additional judicial challenges developing and if you or anyone you know has been deported or refused entry based on the Executive Order, please contact our office so we can put you in touch with the organizations who are coordinating the efforts in federal court.
In addition to the impact seen at our airports, Department of State has also indicated that anyone in the process of pursuing an immigrant visa who is from one of the seven countries may not attend their visa interviews. It is unclear at this time whether cases filed within the United States will also be affected. If you or someone you know has a pending case with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, is awaiting a visa interview abroad, or has had his or her interview cancelled, please contact an immigration attorney so that your case can be included in the coordinated effort to combat this Executive Order.
As we have seen the expansiveness with which the Executive Order relating to refugees has been interpreted, we expect similar stances relating to the other two Executive Orders issued. In light of that, we are advising everyone who is not a citizen of the United States and who has a pending criminal or traffic matter to speak with an immigration attorney. As local and state enforcement officials are coordinating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, any minor charge may lead to immigration enforcement efforts. Additionally, due to the possibility of Expedited Removals, where an immigrant can be deported without seeing an Immigration Judge, anyone who is undocumented needs to carry evidence of two years of presence in the United States. If you have any questions about how these orders may affect you, please contact an immigration attorney for advise specific to your case.