On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (“EO”), “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, which, among other things, suspended immigrant and nonimmigrant entry for nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, for a minimum of 90 days. The state of Washington, later joined by Minnesota, filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the EO on constitutional grounds and also filed a motion asking the court to grant a nationwide temporary restraining order (“TRO”). The TRO was granted on February 3, 2017. On February 9, 2017, in a per curiam order, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the federal government’s emergency motion for a stay of the TRO, finding that the government failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal or that failure to stay the TRO would cause irreparable injury.
On February 10, 2017, a Ninth Circuit judge made a sua sponte request that a vote be taken as to whether the three-judge panel’s order should be reconsidered by a fuller panel. Briefs with respective positions regarding this matter are due by February 16, 2017.
Given the precarious state of matters regarding the EO, per our recent immigration alert, we advise the nationals of the above-listed countries that are presently in the U.S. in a nonimmigrant or permanent immigrant status refrain from international travel. Additionally, we suggest that any U.S. nonimmigrant visa holders consult immigration counsel before traveling to and from the U.S. and/or applying for a U.S. visa at a consulate.
In regards to immigration proceedings currently pending with USCIS, please note that USCIS issued a memorandum stating that the EO does not affect USCIS’s adjudication of applications or petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the U.S., regardless of nationality.
We will provide further updates and guidance regarding the existing and future executive orders affecting you and your immigrant employees.