Our office has been flooded with calls and inquiries regarding the current administration’s Executive Orders (EO) on immigration. One of the EO includes a 90-day travel ban for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, bans Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. indefinitely, suspends the refugee program for 120 days, require in-person interviews for most non-immigrant visa applicants and cuts the number of refugees admitted in half (to read about the order click here.)
The restrictions on immigration were expected, as they were announced during his campaign. But the process has been a surprise to all. Having lived in the US for over 36 years, I thought this would follow the well established congressional process.
Also surprised and confused are the Department of State and Customs and Border Patrol. To date, no one is certain which provisions will stand and which will be struck down by the courts.
Given this situation my recommendation regarding travel is as follows: make sure you know the visa you have to enter the U.S. and be prepared to be questioned about it. Have your return ticket in hand if you are coming with a short-term non-immigrant visa. If you are a permanent resident (have a Greencard) do not sign any forms you do not understand; i.e. I-407. Ask to speak with an attorney. We’ve been hearing stories of people around the world who are experiencing problems coming to the United States despite having valid visas.
If you must travel, follow the above and inform your attorney of your travel plans. Be patient upon arrival in the U.S.
As expected Custom and Border Patrol (CBP) officers are also confused regarding this new EO. If you or someone you know has been detained at the border despite having a valid visa, please let us know.
Our law firm, Elizabeth C. Pines, P.A., is focused on immigration law, helping clients with matters that include just about any aspect of employment-based immigration, family petitions, temporary work visas to the U.S. and residency.
Are you a foreigner planning to move to the US? Are you here undocumented? We may be able to help you complete the necessary steps to make the process easier and legalize your status.