Trump Administration Announces Travel Ban Expansion

On September 24, 2017, the White House Office released a Presidential Proclamation signed by President Donald J. Trump, which enhances vetting processes and suspends travel to the United States for certain citizens of seven (7) nations: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. President Trump described the Proclamation as necessary to “protect the security and interests of the United States and its people.”

The Department of Homeland Security, working in conjunction with the Department of State, had identified sixteen (16) countries, including the seven (7) listed above, as inadequate in their identity-management protocols, information-sharing practices and risk factors. Based on the Department’s findings, the Secretary of Homeland Security had recommended that nationals from these seven (7) countries be subject to entry restrictions and limitations.

Pursuant to the Proclamation, all classifications of immigrants from Chad, as well as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B1/B2) visa classifications, will be suspended from travelling to the United States indefinitely.

All classifications of immigrants and nonimmigrants from Iran, except nationals admitted under valid student (F and M) and exchange (J) visa classifications, will be suspended from travelling to the United States indefinitely. Student and exchange visa holders from Iran will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.

All classifications of immigrants from Libya, as well as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B1/B2) visa classifications will be suspended from travelling to the United States indefinitely.

All immigrant and nonimmigrant citizens of North Korea and Syria, regardless of visa classification, will be suspended from travelling to the United States indefinitely.

The entry of all government officials from Venezuela who are involved in screening and vetting procedures, as well as their immediate family members who have been issued nonimmigrant business (B-1), tourist (B-2) and business/tourist (B1/B2) visas, will be suspended indefinitely. All other visa-holding nationals of Venezuela will be subject to enhanced security requirements to ensure that their traveler information remains current.

The entry of all classifications of immigrants from Yemen, as well as nonimmigrants holding business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B1/B2) visas, will be suspended indefinitely.

The entry of all immigrant nationals of Somalia will also be suspended indefinitely. Nonimmigrant visa holders and applicants from Somalia may be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they are connected to terrorist organizations or otherwise pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States.

Additionally, all foreign nationals who were subject to entry restrictions under Executive Order 13780, Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States, which was signed by President Trump on March 6, 2017, and lack a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity outlined within that Executive Order are excluded from entry under the new Presidential Proclamation as of 3:30 p.m. eastern daylight time on September 24, 2017.

The Presidential Proclamation will go into effect for immigrants and nonimmigrants from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia who possess a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on October 18, 2017.

The entry limitations and restrictions for nationals of Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela will also go into effect at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on October 18, 2017.

The United States Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments on the constitutionality of Executive Order 13780 on September 25, 2017, but cancelled the hearing in light of the new Presidential Proclamation. The Court will consider the issue of whether the previously scheduled arguments are now moot in light of the new Proclamation.  The Proclamation, however, is also likely to face legal challenges, as advocacy organization such as the ACLU have already questioned its legality.

If you believe that you or your business may be affected by any of these policies, we urge you to contact our office immediately at (856) 222-0130.

Call us at (856) 222-0130