In the span of 9 months, President Trump issued three separate versions of a travel ban, each one struck down by a federal court before it could do much damage.
The third travel ban was the last to be issued and struck down by a federal court. But on Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision upholding the travel ban, stating that it is within the President’s power to impose restrictions on certain countries when the President believes entry by citizens of those countries could be detrimental to the interests of the U.S.
This version of the travel ban now in effect applies to seven countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. For North Korea and Syria, all immigrants and nonimmigrants are blocked from entering the U.S. For Libya and Yemen, immigrants and nonimmigrants on a B-1/B-2 (temporary business visitors or tourists) are prohibited from entering the country. For Somalia, all immigrants are blocked from entering and nonimmigrants are subject to “enhanced screening.” For Iran, all immigrants and nonimmigrants, except for those on an F, M, or J visa, are prohibited from entering the country. Those nonimmigrants on an F, M, or J visa are subjected to “enhanced screening.” Lastly, for Venezuela, only government officials and their family members using a B-1/B-2 visa are prohibited from entering the country.
The travel ban does not apply to individuals from those countries with lawful permanent resident status or who are already in the country on the date it goes into effect. Additionally, dual nationals are able to use their passports from non-banned countries to travel to the U.S., and foreign nationals granted asylum, refugees admitted to the U.S., and those granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture are not subject to the ban.
The ban can be waived on a case-by-case basis for individuals affected by the ban if an officer determines that the individual meets three criteria: 1. Denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship; 2. Entry would not pose a threat to national security or public safety in the U.S.; and 3. Entry would be in the national interest. The last criteria require a showing that a U.S. person or entity would suffer hardship if the applicant could not travel to the U.S. until after restrictions are lifted.
As part of the travel ban, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State are ordered to create a process for assessing whether the travel restrictions should be continued, terminated, modified, or supplemented based on whether the countries have improved their “vetting” procedures. The agencies are required to submit a report every 180 days to the President regarding these issues.
With all of the recent–and likely upcoming—changes to immigration policy and procedure, it is important to stay up to date with your immigration options and how these changes could affect your case. If you have questions about how the travel ban or other changes could affect your immigration options or the options of someone you know, call the Joseph & Hall P.C. to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. We are happy to discuss your options with you.
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