Last Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that severely limits immigration from seven countries. These countries include Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen.
Most people are now aware that the order exists, but many are unsure who is affected. Additionally, there are opponents of this action who argue whether Trump's actions are even legal - and plan to challenge his executive order in court.
Who is affected by the executive order?
According to an article in The Atlantic, the executive order "severely restricts immigration from seven Muslim countries, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days, and bars all Syrian refugees indefinitely." It also bans citizens from the seven noted countries from entering the United States on any visa category.
The executive order does not affect naturalized citizens, although if they are traveling back from one of the seven noted countries listed in the order, the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has the right to question them. It also isn't meant to affect green card holders, although over the weekend thousands were denied entry to the U.S. - detained at airports and stranded abroad. At this time, entry for permanent residents/green card holders appears to be at the CBP's discretion.
Is the executive order legal?
Judges across the country have granted temporary relief, allowing green card holders and valid visa holders who have been detained entry into the U.S. A federal judge in New York has also ordered a temporary, nationwide stay of the executive order.
Opponents of Trump’s executive order claim it is unconstitutional and discriminatory, rather than a matter of defending the country's national security. Legal action against the order is still to come. According to USA Today, "the legality of Trump's order won't be completely clear until it faces more hearings in federal court."
In the meantime, civil rights advocates and immigration lawyers will continue to fight for immigrants who are detained by this order, which is a violation of their right to due process. If you need help with a related immigration issue, contact an attorney immediately for help.