As the world focuses its eyes on Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, security measures are being described as some of the tightest in history. The U.S. Department of State’s mission statement is to “Create a more secure, democratic and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.” To that end, the USDOS works diligently with other agencies and governments around the world to identify possible terrorists, terrorist groups and acts of terrorism.
A January 2014 Fact Sheet released by the Department of States explains the types of terrorism designations that are made, the legal authority for making those designations and the process. The full fact sheet can be found at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/01/219520.htm. We will recap some of the main points below:
• There are different types of terrorism designations for groups and individuals. Groups can be designated as “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” or FTO under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under Executive Order (Order of President) 13224, a wider range of entities – including groups, individuals, and financiers or front companies – can be designated as Specialty Designated Global Terrorists. These designations are referred to as EO13224 designations.
• Only FTO designations impose immigration restrictions on members of the organizations and prohibits “the knowing provision of material support or resources” to the organization. Representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are foreign nationals, are inadmissible to the U.S. In some circumstances, if they are already here, they are subject to removal (previously called deportation).
• Only the EO13224 designation involves the Department of Treasury to designate additional individuals or entities that are providing such support to already designated organizations.
• Both FTO and EO13224 designations trigger asset freezes.
Keeping our borders and citizens safe – whether they are here or anywhere in the world – is a task taken very seriously by the U.S. Department of State and other governmental entities.
We hope you enjoy the Winter Olympics and appreciate the effort to keep our athletes and citizens safe from terrorists and acts of terrorism around the globe. And if you have any immigration-related concerns, please schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys today!