On January 25, 2017, President Trump signed two Executive Orders that affect border security, immigration, and enforcement procedures. These Orders direct the expanded use of detention, expedited removal, and other enforcement tools against undocumented immigrants.
These Orders call for the construction of a physical wall along the southern border of the United States, detention of people under the suspicion that they violated immigration law, detention of any person during removal proceedings, and utilization of state and local law enforcement as immigration enforcement officers. It expands the directive of expedited removal, meaning any person who cannot satisfy an immigration officer that they were admitted or paroled, or at least continuously present in the U.S. for the prior two years, would be removed from the United States without a hearing.
Until we have further information as to how each directive will be implemented, it is more important than ever that each foreign person in the United States carry documentation of their valid status and abide by all laws of the United States – criminal and civil.
These Orders also address so-called “sanctuary” cities, like Philadelphia, with the threat to revoke federal funding from these cities. Many mayors have already spoken out that they will not end their sanctuary programs. The Supreme Court has previously held that there is a limit to the federal government’s ability to withhold funding solely because a municipality will not participate in a federal government initiative.
There are four additional draft executive orders that have been leaked. It is unclear whether these orders will be approved as leaked or with modification. These draft orders call for the suspension of entry to the U.S. for nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for at least 30 days; a suspension of the refugee admissions program in the U.S. for 120 days; an indefinite suspension of the admission of Syrian refugees; an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; site visits for L-1s and eventually all employment-based categories; revising the practical training program of foreign students; ordering removal for any foreign person who relies on public benefits, among many other items.
Due to these leaked orders and the lack of information about if and when they will be ordered, nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, including dual nationals and permanent residents, should not travel internationally without consulting their Klasko attorney.
We are monitoring this very closely and will provide an update as soon as possible.
In summary, President Trump is motivated to take distinct action against the foreign-born population in the United States. There is grave concern surrounding these Executive Orders, as well as the leaked draft Executive Orders. With this in mind, please pass these messages along to your employees, colleagues, and friends. Remind them to carry their immigration documentation with them. We also ask that you reach out to your Congressional representatives to ask them for their support of your colleagues who are facing challenges due to the actions of President Trump.