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9 Things You Need To Know About Trump's New Travel Ban

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9 Things You Need To Know About Trump's New Travel Ban

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 10:58 pm

Since the last travel ban prompted such passionate discussion I thought it would be of interest to know what the new travel ban entails.

9 Things You Need To Know About Trump's New Travel Ban

The White House issued a new executive order (EO) on Monday regarding “extreme vetting” of foreigners seeking entry to the homeland. Attorney General Jeff Sessions joined Secretaries of State and Homeland Security Rex Tillerson and John Kelly to issue remarks, opting against taking questions from the press.

The new executive order makes certain changes relative to its previous iteration, which was halted via two federal court orders.

1. The New EO Exempts Iraq From Previous Restrictions

The previous EO applied to seven states: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Specifically, it barred entry of foreign nationals of the aforementioned states as well as foreign nationals who had traveled to the aforementioned states. The bar was described as “temporary,” although its implementation was for an indefinite period of time. Exceptions were granted to American citizens with multiple nationalities and subsequently, via administration officials' statement, granted to permanent residents.

Iraq presents a special case. Portions of Iraq remain active combat zones. Since 2014, ISIS has had dominant influence over significant territory in northern and central Iraq. Although that influence has been significantly reduced due to the efforts and sacrifices of the Iraqi government and armed forces, working along with a United States-led coalition, the ongoing conflict has impacted the Iraqi government's capacity to secure its borders and to identify fraudulent travel documents. Nevertheless, the close cooperative relationship between the United States and the democratically elected Iraqi government, the strong United States diplomatic presence in Iraq, the significant presence of United States forces in Iraq, and Iraq's commitment to combat ISIS justify different treatment for Iraq. In particular, those Iraqi government forces that have fought to regain more than half of the territory previously dominated by ISIS have shown steadfast determination and earned enduring respect as they battle an armed group that is the common enemy of Iraq and the United States. In addition, since Executive Order 13769 was issued, the Iraqi government has expressly undertaken steps to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the return of Iraqi nationals subject to final orders of removal. Decisions about issuance of visas or granting admission to Iraqi nationals should be subjected to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants have connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations, or otherwise pose a risk to either national security or public safety.

Iraqi nationals and foreigners who have traveled to Iraq, however, will still be subjected to heightened scrutiny when attempting to enter the homeland. "Individuals suspected of [having] ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations" as well as those "from territories controlled or formerly controlled by ISIS" will be subjected to "additional inquiries" and a "thorough review."

2. The New EO Allows For More Exceptions

The new EO contains language permitting the exceptional admission of foreigners otherwise banned from entry to the homeland on a case-by-case basis via joint review by the secretaries of state and homeland security, unlike its previous iteration.

I permitted the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to jointly grant case-by-case waivers when they determined that it was in the national interest to do so.

I permitted the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to jointly grant case-by-case waivers when they determined that it was in the national interest to do so.

Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) commissioner or delegee and consular officers may also grant waivers to foreigners captured within the new EO's restrictions, provided they are deemed to not be national security threats and provided that their admissions would serve the national interest. The following circumstances are listed as examples in which such waivers could be granted on a case-by-case basis:

(i) the foreign national has previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the United States on the effective date of this order, seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry during the suspension period would impair that activity;

(ii) the foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the effective date of this order for work, study, or other lawful activity;

(iii) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations;

(iv) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship;

(v) the foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;

(vi) the foreign national has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee) and the employee can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government;

(vii) the foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. 288 et seq., traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA;

(viii) the foreign national is a landed Canadian immigrant who applies for a visa at a location within Canada; or

(ix) the foreign national is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor.

3. The New EO Further Explains Its Justifications Relative To The Previous EO

Unlike its previous iteration, the new EO provides some data regarding the overlaps between threats of terrorism and foreigners who are from or have been to the six states it affects.

Judges at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, during oral arguments, inquired about justifications for the previous EO’s enactment in terms of statistics related to terrorism and the seven states it affected. The new EO preemptively anticipates such left-wing argumentation against its enactment, providing some statistics related to convictions of foreigners for terrorism-related crimes and malevolent exploitation of existing refugee policies.

Recent history shows that some of those who have entered the United States through our immigration system have proved to be threats to our national security. Since 2001, hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States. They have included not just persons who came here legally on visas but also individuals who first entered the country as refugees. For example, in January 2013, two Iraqi nationals admitted to the United States as refugees in 2009 were sentenced to 40 years and to life in prison, respectively, for multiple terrorism-related offenses. And in October 2014, a native of Somalia who had been brought to the United States as a child refugee and later became a naturalized United States citizen was sentenced to 30 years in prison for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction as part of a plot to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. The Attorney General has reported to me that more than 300 persons who entered the United States as refugees are currently the subjects of counterterrorism investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

4. The New EO Specifically Articulates Conditions For Exceptions And Waivers

Unlike its previous iteration, the new EO specifically identifies lawful permanent residents, dual nationals, refugees granted asylum, and foreigners traveling on diplomatic (G-class) visas as unaffected by its restrictions.

(b) Exceptions. The suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this order shall not apply to:

(i) any lawful permanent resident of the United States;

(ii) any foreign national who is admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the effective date of this order;

(iii) any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on the effective date of this order or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document;

(iv) any dual national of a country designated under section 2 of this order when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;

(v) any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or

(vi) any foreign national who has been granted asylum; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States; or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

5. Restrictions May Be Broadened

Like the previous EO, the new EO offers the possibility of broadening restrictions by adding states to its list for heightened scrutiny. States that fail to “provide adequate information… for adjudications” of their own nationals may be added to the EO’s list of affected states at the president’s discretion with the guidance of the attorney general and secretaries of state and homeland security.

The new EO also requires the attorney general, the secretaries of state and homeland security, and the director of national intelligence to review and make recommendations for the improvement of existing immigration policies via the submission of a report to the president.

Implementing Uniform Screening and Vetting Standards for All Immigration Programs. (a) The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence shall implement a program, as part of the process for adjudications, to identify individuals who seek to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis, who support terrorism, violent extremism, acts of violence toward any group or class of people within the United States, or who present a risk of causing harm subsequent to their entry. This program shall include the development of a uniform baseline for screening and vetting standards and procedures, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that applicants are who they claim to be; a mechanism to assess whether applicants may commit, aid, or support any kind of violent, criminal, or terrorist acts after entering the United States; and any other appropriate means for ensuring the proper collection of all information necessary for a rigorous evaluation of all grounds of inadmissibility or grounds for the denial of other immigration benefits.

6. New Refugee Admissions Are Suspended For 120 Days

The new EO declares the entry of of more than fifty thousand refugees in 2017's governmental fiscal year to "be detrimental to the interests of the United States." The Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is suspended for 120 days, although refugees previously slated for admission are unaffected.

Exceptions to the suspension of refugee admissions may be granted on a case-by-case basis via joint determination from the secretaries of state and homeland security.

7. States And Localities Will Have More Say In Refugee Resettlement

The role of states and municipalities in determining the resettlement of refugees is claimed to be enhanced by the new EO. The new EO seemingly calls for more cooperation between federal, state, and local governments in the realm of resettling foreigners: "[State and local governments shall] be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees."

8. The Federal Government Will Report What Much Of The News Media Ignores

The new EO directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect and publicize data regarding overlaps between terrorism - which is not qualified as Islamic, Islamist, or jihadist - and foreign nationals. Statistics related to the foreign nationals charged with and/or convicted of terrorism-related crimes, the deportation of foreign nationals based on support for or affiliation with terrorism or officially designated terrorist organization. and those who have been "radicalized" will be published in the form of government reports.

Sec. 11. Transparency and Data Collection. (a) To be more transparent with the American people and to implement more effectively policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available the following information:

(i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;

(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States;

(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called "honor killings," in the United States by foreign nationals; and

(iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

9. The New EO Essentially Ignores Islam

Despite President Donald Trump's repeated criticisms of how Democrats and the broader left refuse to use phrases such as "radical Islamic terrorism," the new EO makes no specific mention of the phenomenon. The new EO neglects to specifically articulate the overlaps between Islam, Muslims, and Islamic terrorism in its instructions or in its explanations and justifications.

The EO's only specific mention of Islam is made in a defensive posture, anticipating legal challenges from Democrats and the broader left of it somehow being a violation of the First or Fourteenth Amendments with respect to religion. Muslims are, in fact, identified as a possible prioritized group for admission to the homeland should they compose a "minority religion" within a given nation:

Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities -- whoever they are and wherever they reside -- to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.


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