On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a proclamation entitled, "Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorist and Other Public Safety Threats." This executive order was set to go into effect October 18, 2017.
On October 17, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson, of Hawaii, determined that the ban on the entry of nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen illegally discriminates based on nationality, and issued a nationwide temporary restraining order. However, travel restrictions on certain Venezuelan government officials and on nationals of North Korea remain in place. The judge pointed out that the president's actions require him to make "sufficient findings" that the entry of people from the six countries would be "detrimental" to U.S. interests. One of the questions raised involved the Immigration and Nationality Act's bar on "nationality-based" discrimination.
On that same day, U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang, of Maryland, issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, prohibiting the enforcement of the entry restrictions of the same nationals, except with regard to the nationals of North Korea and Venezuela, and for individuals lacking a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. Judge Chuang took on the question of the constitutionality of the order and the possible violation of the Establishment Clause.
What Does This Mean for Your Employees?
These rulings mean that, while these court orders are in effect, your foreign national employees can travel to the United States as they could prior to the September 24, 2017, travel restrictions being announced.
It is important to note that both District Courts enjoined the government from enforcing or implementing entry restrictions on nationals of six Muslim-majority countries, however, the courts' orders do not enjoin the proclamation's entry restrictions on nationals of North Korea and Venezuela.
The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, as of October 10, 2017, of the prior travel ban case in light of the September 24 expiration of that travel ban.
The Duane Morris Immigration Practice Group will provide updates as they occur in these cases.
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Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.