Are you concerned about how President Trump’s executive orders and plans will affect you and your family? Here are some important updates.
What Has Trump Done So Far?
Through Executive Orders, Trump has ordered:
Expanding who will be considered a priority for deportation
Involving state and local law enforcement officers in immigration enforcement (and punishing localities that refuse to be involved)
Increasing the number of Border Patrol and ICE officers
Increasing detention space
Restricting travel and visa issuance temporarily for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen
Restricting refugee program temporarily, and indefinitely for Syrians
Can I Travel Outside the US?
If you are a citizen of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, you should clear any US departures and entries with a qualified and reputable immigration attorney even if you have a valid immigrant or non-immigrant visa. Trump’s travel ban and refugee restrictions have been challenged in court and stayed, i.e. cancelled until and if the court rules otherwise. This means that as of February 6, 2017 there is no ban on travel for citizens of the seven countries named above.
Trump is appealing, though, so the situation will be fluid and unpredictable until a final court ruling. For many who were stranded outside the US because of this ban, it may be best to use the temporary suspension of the restrictions to now return to the U.S. Even though the Trump Administration now says the restrictions do not apply to green card holders, it is best to nevertheless clear travel plans with your immigration attorney, especially if you have an arrest, extended departures from the US, or other potential complications.
There were rumors that other countries would be added to the travel restrictions, but for now the US Department of State says there are no such plans.
If you are a citizen of India with international travel plans and a need for H-1 or L-1 visa stamping at a US consulate in India, be aware that there are reports of visa denials in seemingly straightforward cases. Given this development, many Indian citizens are postponing non-emergency travel. It is best to consult with the immigration attorney who prepared the H-1B application, if possible, to discuss the risks of travel. Be sure to mention any job location or role changes, arrests, or other complications.
Citizens of all non-US countries should be aware that travel in and out of the US is not risk free, despite prior entries without issue. As has always been the case, an applicable ground of inadmissibility may complicate your admission, regardless of your immigration status. If you have ever possibly violated the immigration laws, travel may likely carry more risk for you under the Trump Administration. Common complications related to travel include a previous stay in the US without status, failure to maintain status after a lawful admission, arrest or deportation history (even if now cleared) and those with an employer / immigration attorney known to have violated immigration laws. It’s best to confirm travel with a qualified and reputable attorney, preferably the one who prepared your case, if you think your case may involve a past or present complication.
Will I be picked up if I am reporting to ICE?
You could be detained at your next report date if you have been regularly reporting to ICE. If you have been reporting regularly it will be best to have an attorney accompany you to your next report date to help explain and document your situation. If you decide not to bring an attorney, take as much information to the appointment as you can which shows you are not a flight risk or a danger to the community, and that you will show up to all court dates and appointments. Be sure to be cooperative and attend your appointment, or you may risk detention and losing future immigration benefits.
What About DACA?
The White House Press Secretary said that Trump has not yet decided his position on DACA cases (also known as Dreamers). Members of Congress, including some Republicans, have said they will try to protect Dreamers. This was in response to Trump’s remarks about cancelling the DACA program during his campaign. There was a leaked draft executive order that referenced cancelling DACA and similar programs, but we just don’t know how this will be handled. Trump has on at least one occasion indicated a willingness not to punish Dreamers, telling Time Magazine, “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud…They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Qualified Immigration Attorneys
We understand that this is a difficult time, but please know that the attorneys at Antonini & Cohen are here to speak with you and answer any questions you might have. So please, do not hesitate to call us!
Visit our special website page to stay updated on any new developments regarding immigration under President Trump.