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Understanding the Immigration Ban Under the Trump Administration

Ever since Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States, he has issued two Executive Orders with the intention of banning certain groups of immigrants from entering the country. As of mid-March 2017, both Executive Orders were condemned by activists and politicians before federal judges blocked them under Constitutional grounds.

The first Executive Order attempted to block the entry of people from seven countries from the Middle Eastern and African regions. It so happens that Islam is the predominant religion of those seven nations. This fact, coupled with Trump’s campaign promise to prevent Muslims from entering the U.S., was enough to deem the order discriminatory, un-American, and lacking supportive evidence.

U.S. immigration officers also denied entry to Iraqis who had served alongside American soldiers as translators and even carried valid visas. It did not take long for a legal stay to be issued against the order. When the U.S. Justice Department realized that going past the appellate process would prove too embarrassing for the Trump administration, a second order was issued.

The second order did not even have a chance to go into effect after two federal judges blocked it on grounds that were very similar to the first order. The Republic of Iraq was removed from the list of nations and some clarification was made for visa holders. Should this Executive Order ever clear the existing ban, travelers from the following countries will not be allowed to enter the U.S. for 90 days:

Middle East

  • Iran
  • Syria 
  • Yemen

Africa

  • Libya
  • Somalia
  • Sudan

It is important to note that the current ban, which is blocked as of mid-March 2017, does not apply to travelers who have valid visas. This means green card holders, tourists, business travelers, students, and other foreigners with approved visas will be allowed to enter the U.S. This list also includes those who have a valid marriage visa in San Diego, CA. Nonetheless, news media outlets have reported that travelers from the aforementioned nations may be subject to secondary inspections by immigration officers at ports of entry. One of the issues considered by the federal judges who blocked the orders is that due process was not being observed. 

Although the White House has suggested that it may seek to overturn the current block of the second Executive Order, immigrants and travelers have valid reasons to be concerned. During the first ban, more than 50,000 visas were provisionally revoked. Even U.S. citizens who have visited the countries listed above have been subject to investigations, sometimes based solely on their names sounding Arabic. Complaints about racial profiling at ports of entry are piling up.

Foreigners and travelers in San Diego who have been affected by these Executive Orders should seek the advice of a San Diego immigration attorney and weigh their legal options during these confusing times. Reach out to KS Visa Law if you have any questions. Give us a call today at 858-874-0711.

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