December 05, 2017
Immigration Law Alert
Immigration Law Alert
Author(s): Jason Gerrol
U.S. Supreme Court will allow Trump travel ban to take effect, imposing travel restrictions on nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
On Monday, December 4, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued orders allowing President Trump’s September 24, 2017 travel ban to take effect while litigation remains ongoing in both the Ninth and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court did not provide an explanation for the decision, but did note that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were against the decision.
The travel ban had dual effective dates of September 24, 2017 (for those nationals impacted by previous iterations of the travel ban), and October 18, 2017. As those effective dates have passed, the travel ban will take effect immediately.
The travel ban imposes “tailored” country-specific restrictions on nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. Please see our previous summary of those country-specific travel restrictions.
By most accounts, the latest travel ban is a “watered down” version of the previous Trump travel bans issued on January 27, 2017, and March 6, 2017, respectively. Nevertheless, impacted nationals should carefully review the travel restrictions, and discuss their particular immigration situation and any travel plans with experienced immigration counsel.
Importantly, the travel ban does not apply to lawful permanent residents or dual nationals (if traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country). In addition, the travel ban made clear that no existing visas would be revoked and is expressly limited to individuals who were outside the U.S. on either September 24, 2017, or October 18, 2017 (the effective dates), and did not have a valid visa (or other valid travel document, such as advance parole) as of those dates. The travel ban does not restrict the ability to seek asylum or refugee status.
Yes. Waivers of the travel restrictions will be available on a case-by-case basis if the foreign national can demonstrate (1) denying entry would cause him/her “undue hardship,” (2) entry will not pose a threat to national security or public safety and (3) entry would be in the “national interest.” Waivers of the travel restrictions may be appropriate in a variety of circumstances—including where the foreign national has previously been admitted to the U.S. for a continuous period of work, study or other long-term activity and is seeking to reenter the U.S. to resume that activity; where the foreign national seeks to enter for “significant business or professional obligations”; or the foreign national seeks to enter the U.S. to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., spouse, child or parent). In addition, the travel ban states that a waiver may be appropriate where the foreign national is a Canadian permanent resident and applies for a U.S. visa at a U.S. consulate in Canada.
While the U.S. Supreme Court will allow the travel ban to take effect, the ongoing litigation is not over. Oral arguments are scheduled in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for Wednesday, December 6, 2017, and in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for Friday, December 8, 2017.
The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.
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