President Trump’s recent executive actions on immigration

SINCE President Trump’s inauguration last January 20, 2017, the President has issued three (3) executive actions on immigration, namely,  (1)  Executive Order 13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” issued on January 27, 2017;  (2) Executive Order 13768 ,“Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” issued on January 25, 2017, and  (3) Executive Order 13767, “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” issued on January 25, 2017 as well.

Executive Order 13769. This executive order declared that the entry of aliens from seven (7) countries, namely Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States”, hence entry into the United States, whether as immigrants (i.e., green card holders or permanent residents) and nonimmigrants, are suspended for 90 days.

However, apparently in response to public outcry, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly, on January 29, 2017, issued a statement that: “(i)n applying the provisions of the president’s executive order”, the entry of lawful permanent residents is considered to be in the national interest. “(A)bsent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.” The DHS also issued a fact sheet on the same day stating that “lawful permanent residents of the United States traveling on a valid I-551 will be allowed to board U.S. bound aircraft and will be assessed for exceptions at arrival ports of entry, as appropriate.” Based on recent news report, over 100,000 visas have been revoked as a result of this executive order.

Executive Order 13768. This executive order directs the DHS Secretary of to prioritize the removal aliens who, among others, have been convicted of any criminal offense, who have been charged with any criminal offense (even without a conviction), have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense (even without any charges filed), “(h)ave engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency”, “ (h)ave abused any program related to receipt of public benefits”, and “(i)n the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”

In addition, all sanctuary jurisdictions are not eligible to receive federal grants if they refuse to comply with the immigration laws, including deportations of aliens.

Executive Order 13767.  This executive order directs the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border of the US (US-Mexican border) as a response to “illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism” in that area.

These executive orders show a significant, major shift in U.S. immigration policies, in contrast with the previous administration. More executive actions are expected to be issued soon, possibly including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other immigration executive actions issued by President Obama.

If you are contemplating of filing any waiver application or any immigration petition for that matter, it is advisable to seek the counsel of an immigration lawyer to guide you on the intricacies of filing for such a petition.

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Atty. Gwendolyn Malaya-Santos is a member of the State Bar of California and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. To schedule for a free initial in-person consultation, please call Tel. Nos. (213) 284-5984 or (626) 329-8215. Atty. Santos’ office is located at 3450 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200-105, Los Angeles, CA 90010.

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Information contained in this article does not, nor is it intended to, constitutes legal advice for any specific situation and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. It likewise does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

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