New Executive Order Closes Border on Nationals and Refugees from 7 Countries
January 27, 2017
President Trump has signed executive orders closing the borders on refugees and
suspending entry to the US to nationals from 7 Muslim-majority countries. The administration wants to implement an extreme vetting plan to keep out "radical Islamic terrorists."
The "Realignment of the US Refugee Admission Program for Fiscal Year 2017" will suspend for a 120 days refugee admission and augment current visa application and adjudication procedures. The executive order requires that refugee claims are prioritized on the basis of "religious-based prosecution" where minority religions within the country of nationality will have priority. It is expected that Christians and other minority groups to be favored over Muslims.
The order puts a complete and indefinite halt on admission of Syrian refugees and reduces the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the US in 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000. It also instructs the Department of Homeland Security to propose ways to allow state and local jurisdictions to have a voice in whether to allow refugees to be settled in their jurisdictions.
The order also bans for 90 days entry into the US of nationals from seven countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen under any status. This includes any nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, and US Legal Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) who are nationals of the designated countries. Certain foreign nationals travelling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G Visas for International Organization Staff (G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4) are excluded from the ban.
The executive actions are facing widespread condemnation. Immigrant and refugee advocates, as well as various religious groups have denounced the executive order as running against American values. Legal challenges are expected to test the constitutionality of these measures.