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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawTrump's Recent Executive Orders: Impact in Legal Terms

Trump's Recent Executive Orders: Impact in Legal Terms

Recently sworn President Donald Trump has issued new executive orders which will have a significant impact upon those visa seekers from the nations of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen since from this point forward (for at least the next 90-120 days) said nationals will not be permitted to apply for visas.

Furthermore, it appears that those who hail from one of the aforementioned countries and have valid visas may not be allowed to enter the United States of America as the order would seem to direct that the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) turn away foreign nationals from said nations. It appears that even those foreign nationals who have lawful permanent residence (so-called “Green Card” holders) in the USA may be turned away and refused entry if they have been traveling abroad when the executive orders came into effect. In fact, even those who are dual citizens, but who originated from one of the previously mentioned countries, may be turned away by those processing US visa applications or inspecting foreign arrivals at United States ports of entry. It should be noted that those with nationality of one of the above nations who have United States Citizenship will not be impacted by the recent executive orders.

It should be noted that pursuant to the recent rule changes airlines and other carriers are refusing to allow nationals of the above nations to board planes and other transportation vehicles in an effort to forestall said individuals from being turned away by officers of the USCBP at ports of entry in the USA. This turn of events may be more important in terms of the day-to-day experiences of those affected by these policy changes as those who are attempting to travel a long distance back to the USA may be barred from doing so before they even begin their journey. In a way, carriers are pre-determining the status of these would-be entrants before USCBP even interacts with them. This situation stems from the fact that carriers may be obligated to return individuals to their country of departure if they are refused entry to the USA. As such a development could prove costly to carriers it appears some refuse to take the risk of transporting an individual or individuals who are at risk of being refused entry.

In a recent update to the above information it appears that opponents of the recent executive orders have obtained an injunction in the US Federal courts. It should be noted that said court order would seem to only apply to those individuals who have already arrived in the USA and does not necessarily apply to those who may try to travel to the USA in the future.

It should be noted that USCBP officers have substantial discretion in determining whether an applicant for admission to the USA is indeed admissible. In fact, this discretion is virtually absolute. This authority, coupled with the recent change in circumstances resulting from the aforementioned executive orders will likely result in many nationals from the countries mentioned above, notwithstanding the recent court opinion, either being denied entry to the USA or being forestalled from even beginning a journey thereto.

In one final point it would appear that there may be plans in motion to implement so-called “extreme vetting” procedures to scrutinize those seeking admission to the USA. It appears that the policies and protocols arising from such vetting may be more broadly implemented. Therefore, although it would appear that for now these recent executive orders will not impact those seeking US visas from Thailand, future processing procedures for such matters may be different when compared to processing at the time of this writing. We will try to provide updates as further information comes to light.