Facts Regarding Immigration Process and Procedures After the Executive Order by POTUS
President Trump signed an executive order on 30th January that suspends admission to refugees from all countries for 120 days; restricts immigrants from some countries; and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely. The reaction to this order was swift and polarizing. Immigrants who are set to arrive on US soil in the following weeks or months are anxious and need accurate information. Here are some facts you need to know if you are set to migrate to the US soon, especially if you wish to migrate to the state of Indiana.
Who are Most Affected by These Executive Orders on Immigration?
There are several categories of people affected by this executive order. If you belong to any of these categories, you need to seek legal advice before you attempt to land on US soil.
• All refugees are denied admission for 120 days, regardless of their country of origin.
• People from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen are banned from entering on any Visa category for 120 days as well
• People from Syria are denied admission indefinitely, regardless of their Visa category.
• Green card holders are somewhat exempt as their situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Lawful permanent residents who are no threat the welfare of the country won’t be subjected to restrictions. However, green card holders who travel very frequently between two countries will be subjected to greater scrutiny.
• People that hold dual citizenships involving the above mentioned countries will also be affected by the order. If you hold citizenships in Iran as well as France, for example, you will be subject to restrictions.
Who are Not Affected by the Executive Order?
The order doesn’t apply to everyone coming into US. If you belong to the groups mentioned below, you don’t need to worry about the restrictions being applied to you:
• People from any country aside from the seven mentioned above can enter US as long as they have valid Visas and aren’t refugees.
• US citizens, by birth or naturalization, aren’t affected by the restrictions and will be able to travel. Some might face closer scrutiny, but citizens will be allowed to pass.
• People who hold US citizenship along with the citizenship of another country will also be allowed to pass.
• US citizens who frequently travel back and forth between US and the seven mentioned countries will be allowed to enter, but they will bear further scrutiny if needed.
What is a Refugee?
In order to fully understand the impact of the executive order, you need to understand what refugee means in legal terms. According to American Immigration Council, refugees are people who are “fleeing persecution or are unable to return to their homeland due to life-threatening or extraordinary conditions.”
They are allowed into the US because they can’t return to their home country as there’s a credible fear of persecution. These people flee from their homeland because they fear for their life and well-being and face discrimination based on race, belonging to a social group, religion, political opinion, or national origin.
Refugees usually apply for admission from a transition country that’s close to their homeland and outside US. If they’re granted permission, they’re allowed to enter the United States for resettlement.
If you belong to this category, you can’t enter US for 120 days. Syrian refugees are denied entry indefinitely, but that might change in the future.
Immigration for People Who are Not Refugees
People from all countries aside from the seven mentioned in this article will be allowed to enter on family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, or through the diversity visa program. So if you’re from countries like UK, Ireland, France, Australia, Japan, etc, you will face no problems as long as you don’t hold dual citizenship and are a citizen of the restricted country.
Is It a Muslim Ban?
Not on paper. It’s a ban against the seven aforementioned countries but it doesn’t ban Muslims from other countries. Majority of the Muslims who come to the US originate from countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, etc. These countries don’t face any restrictions unless the people wishing to enter are refugees.
However, one can’t ignore that most of the countries on the list are Muslim majority countries and this order has an impact on people belonging to this community. Even the minority non-Muslim community from these countries will face the same restrictions as the majority Muslim community so this ban has an impact on everyone with a refugee status or originating from those countries.
Is this Executive Order Permanent?
Unless something changes and new orders are implemented, the suspension of access to refugees is only valid for 120 days for people coming in from countries other than Syria. The suspension of admission to all Visa holders from the seven countries is also valid for 120 days. After that, you should be able to enter the United States. It’s wise to seek legal council from an expert in immigration law or research thoroughly before you finalize any plans.
Is there Any Action Taken Against the Order?
There are many professionals in the legal community who are actively working to resolve the situation. The American Civil Liberties Union or the ACLU has filed legal action in several courts. Judges in Alexandria, Virginia; New York; Boston; and Seattle have ruled that people in transit can’t be detained at airports. This ruling is limited to people who are already in transit or in US.
For now, the President’s orders are still valid and will restrict the movement of people mentioned in the order.
If you’re still uncertain about the status of your immigration, you can contact the immigration office and get more details on the matter. They will have the most up-to-date information about your status. If you’re married or closely related to people from these restricted countries, you should contact a legal expert to understand your position. It’s better for them to remain where they are instead of trying to travel to the US at this time.