President Trump’s Travel Ban Two Years Later

What is commonly referred to as the “travel ban” or “Muslim ban” is the product of three executive orders signed by President Donald Trump in 2017 and 2018. Each executive order met a number of legal challenges in the federal court system, but ultimately, the third version of the order was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in 2018. Recently, January 27, 2019 marked the two-anniversary of the travel ban, and today, the ban remains in full effect. The effect of the travel ban is to indefinitely suspend the issuance of immigrant and non-immigrant visas to foreign nationals of often Muslim-majority countries, specifically Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela. The government claims that the reasons for excluding immigrants from these seven countries are poor cooperation with U.S. officials, terrorist activity and the failure to properly document travelers. There are a few, rare exceptions to the travel ban. For instance, students from Iran and Libya are still able to acquire student visas. But otherwise, foreign nationals from the banned countries will only be able to enter the United States if they are granted a waiver. The travel ban provides for a waiver where a visa applicant can […]
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Present and Future Implications of Trump v. Hawaii Ruling

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in favor of President Trump in Trump v. Hawaii, 5-4. This was one of the most highly publicized cases the Supreme Court looked at this term. In addition to the immediate importance of its ruling, this case will also have lasting implications.  The immediate and perhaps most obvious result of the Trump v. Hawaii holding is that the travel restrictions created by President Trump’s September executive order have been found to be constitutional. This means that travel restrictions from that order can now take effect for nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The restrictions prevent most immigrants, refugees and visa holders from these countries from entering the United States. A waiver program is available on a case-by-case basis. Applicants who cannot afford an attorney to assist with the waiver process will likely face extreme difficulties trying to immigrate to the U.S.  Besides the more immediate impacts of the ruling, there will also be some long-lasting impacts as well. This case sets two major precedents for future Supreme Court cases. First is the precedent that it is a lawful exercise of the president’s authority to suspend entry of aliens […]
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Breaking News: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Trump, Upholds Travel Ban

Earlier this morning, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold President Trump’s September executive order that restricted travel to the U.S. from several countries. This executive order garnered significant controversy, with critics arguing it was motivated by religious hostility, as evidenced by the fact that it applied to citizens of Muslim majority countries. Numerous legal challenges to the executive order ultimately reached the Supreme Court in Trump v. Hawaii. The Supreme Court upheld the restriction as falling within the president’s authority and rejected the idea that the restriction was based on religious hostility.  Chief Justice Roberts wrote the 5-4 opinion. The Court determined that the travel restriction was within the president’s constitutional authority. The opinion held that the order was based on legitimate purposes, such as preventing the entry of people who cannot be properly vetted and encouraging other countries to improve their vetting process. The opinion also stated that the text did not mention religion and the fact that it applied to five countries with Muslim majority populations did not inherently demonstrate religious hostility.  Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan dissented.  Berardi Immigration Law is committed to providing our clients with the most accurate and up-to-date immigration news. Be sure […]
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Supreme Court Shows Support for President Trump’s Travel Ban

During arguments at the Supreme Court today, the justices seemed to be leaning toward upholding the third version of President Trump’s travel ban. While the final decision isn’t expected until June, if the court does decide in favor of the government, it would be a big win for the Trump Administration.  The court’s conservative justices appeared sympathetic to the administration’s contention that it has the authority to limit immigration in the name of national security. They also voiced skepticism about the relevance of Trump’s campaign promises and statements regarding Muslims.  The court’s liberal justices, on the other hand, expressed doubts about the president’s power to ban travelers indefinitely despite existing congressional law and said even his tweets on the subject can be used to decipher his motives.  At issue is the third version of the ban, which Trump has stated is a “watered-down” version. The court allowed it to go into effect while the case was litigated, but the lower courts have ruled that all three versions either violate federal law or are unconstitutional.  Like the earlier two bans, this version bars almost all travelers from five mainly Muslim countries and it adds a ban on travelers from North Korea […]
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Chad Travel Restrictions Removed

On April 10, 2018, the President announced that travel restrictions against the nation of Chad will be removed. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined that Chad has raised its security standards to meet the baseline U.S. national security requirements.  According to DHS, Chad has made significant progress toward modernizing its passport documents, regularizing processes for routine sharing of criminal and terrorist threat information, and improving procedures for reporting lost and stolen passports. As a result, its nationals will once again be able to receive visas for travel to the U.S.  Specific travel restrictions were implemented through Presidential Proclamation back in September 2017. It was the first time in U.S. history that minimum requirements for international cooperation were established to support U.S. visa and immigration vetting and adjudication procedures. Since then, nationals from Iran, Chad, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen have faced heavy restrictions, minus a few exceptions, from traveling to the U.S. The following exceptions apply to nationals from the remaining seven countries, and individuals who qualify will not be subject to any travel restrictions listed in the Presidential Proclamation: Any national who was in the U.S. on the applicable effective date described in Section […]
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Waivers Under the Travel Ban

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued travel ban 3.0, via Presidential Proclamation, which suspends the entry of certain nationals of eight designated countries — Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela and Somalia. However, these entry restrictions may be waived on a case-by-case basis. To qualify for a waiver, a consular officer or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official must determine, in their discretion, that the applicant meets each of the following three criteria: (1) denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship; (2) entry would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the U.S.; and (3) entry would be in the national interest. So, how exactly does this waiver process work?  When adjudicating visa applications of individuals subject to the travel ban, consular officers will first determine whether the applicant is eligible for a visa under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). If the applicant is determined to be eligible, the officer must then figure out whether that person falls into one of the exceptions to the Proclamation. If no exception applies, the applicant will be automatically considered for a waiver. There is no waiver form that needs […]
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From the Desk of Rosanna Berardi: The Government Shutdown

Late last week, the federal government shut down. While this isn’t completely out of the norm, what is unusual is the fact that the controversy focused on our U.S. immigration system. President Trump’s presidential campaign and first year of office focused heavily on comprehensive immigration reform. The Immigration and Nationality Act hasn’t been formally amended since 1996 and the current system is antiquated. We have over 30 million illegals in the U.S. We have massive labor shortages in the high-tech and medical industries. We have 800,000 “Dreamers” whose parents brought them to the U.S. as illegal children. What’s an administration to do? This past year has seen many highs and lows on the immigration front. We’ve seen the controversial Travel Ban, which initially caused chaos in the nation’s airports. We’ve seen the federal district courts kick around the Travel Ban and the U.S. Supreme Court quietly commenting on it. Most recently, we’ve seen the Trump Administration rescind “DACA” and give Congress until March 2018 to come up with a replacement law/program for 800,000 “Dreamers.” The recent shutdown focused on the “Dreamers.” What should the U.S. do with 800,000 people who technically broke a federal immigration law, but maybe through no fault of their own? The Trump Administration has hinted towards legalizing the […]
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