The Executive Order signed on March 6, 2017 allows for the proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals. The U.S. Government wants to ensure that those entering this country will not harm the American people after entering. The United States claims to have the world’s most generous immigration system, yet according to the U.S. Government, it has been repeatedly exploited by terrorists and other malicious actors who seek to do us harm. In order to ensure that the U.S. Government can conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the national security risks posed from our immigration system, the Executive Order imposes a 90-day suspension of entry to the United States of nationals of certain designated countries.
This Executive Order ensures that we have a functional immigration system that safeguards our national security. Protecting the American people is the highest priority of our government and this Department.
For the next 90 days, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen who are outside the United States on the effective date of the order, who do not currently have a valid visa on the effective date of this order, and did not have a valid visa at 5:00 eastern standard time on January 27, 2017, are not eligible to travel to the United States. The 90-day period will allow for proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals.
On the basis of negotiations that have taken place between the Government of Iraq and the U.S. Department of State in the last month, Iraq will increase cooperation with the U.S. Government on the vetting of its citizens applying for a visa to travel to the United States. As a result of this increased information sharing, Iraqi citizens are not affected by the Executive Order. Of course, all normal immigration processing requirements continue to apply, including the grounds of inadmissibility that may be applicable.
The Executive Order does not apply to certain individuals, such as lawful permanent residents of the United States; foreign nationals admitted to the United States after the effective date of the order; individuals with a document that is valid on the effective date of the order or any date thereafter which permits travel to the United States; dual nationals when travelling on a passport issued by a non-designated country; foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic, NATO, C-2 for travel to the United Nations, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visas; and individuals already granted asylum or refugee status in the United States before the effective date of the order.
Similarly, the Refugee Admissions Program will be temporarily suspended for the next 120 days while. Upon resumption of the Refugee Admissions Program, refugee admissions to the United States will not exceed 50,000 for fiscal year 2017. The Executive Order does not apply to those refugees who have already been formally scheduled for transit by the State Department. During this 120-day period, similar to the waiver authority for visas, the Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the entry of such individuals as refugees would not pose a threat to the security or welfare of the United States.
The Secretary of Homeland Security will expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit system for all in-scope travellers entering and departing the United States.
In order to be more transparent with the American people and to more effectively implement policies and practices, DHS will make information available to the public every 180 days. DHS will make available to the public information regarding the number of foreign nationals who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security reasons; and 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.