On Friday January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning travel from seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen). The order has caused much anxiety and confusion among the immigrant community. Stories on the web abound about immigrants affected the moment this order was issued. Many immigrants who were en route to the United States were caught in legal limbo as a result of this order. While much confusion still abounds, the language of the order bans immigrants and nonimmigrants from the listed countries. This includes immigrants entering on employment based visas as well as those with family based visas.

When the order was issued, some permanent residents with valid green cards were denied entry to the United States and forced to relinquish their green cards at the airport. Since then, the White House Chief of Staff has stated that, going forward, this ban will not affect green card holders. His statement has caused even more confusion and uncertainty within the immigrant community. Various U.S. Federal Courts have objected to Trump’s order issuing stays on deportations for those affected by the order. Despite the involvement of the Federal Courts, there is still much confusion surrounding the order.

Given the uncertainty of how this order will be applied, if you are from one of the named countries and currently in the United States on a valid visa or as a permanent resident you should not travel outside of the United States at this time. If your visa or green card will expire during the 90 days that this order was issued for, it is imperative that you contact a qualified immigration attorney to advise you. If you are currently outside the United States but have a valid U.S. visa or green card and are from one of the named countries, you should also contact a qualified immigration attorney to advise you.

Remember that if you are in the United States you have rights even if you are an immigrant. Never sign any documentation before speaking to an attorney, even if an immigration officer insists it will make everything easier. Do not, under any circumstances, sign Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status. If you are denied entry to the United States ask for a hearing by a judge and demand that you be allowed to speak to an attorney.

Williams, Kratcoski, Griffin & Can, LLC is committed to stand alongside the immigrants in our community and fight against laws and policies that violate our constitution and the rights of immigrants. If you would like to discuss your case in detail please contact us for a consultation.