A lot has happened since I last wrote. The item most people are likely curious about is the Supreme Court’s decision to allow parts of Executive Order 13780 (“Travel Ban 2.0”) to go into effect. There’s been a lot written about this already, so I won’t reinvent the wheel. (For an excellent legal analysis of Travel Ban 2.0, please visit the American Immigration Council), but I do want to go over some basics.
The two groups most impacted are citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen; and ALL refugees. Nationals from one of the banned countries are unable to enter the United States until September 27th and refugees are unable to come here until after October 27th. There are, thankfully, broad exceptions. These exceptions don’t make it right, but it does stop the ban from being full and complete.
Travel Ban 2.0 does not apply to:
• Lawful permanent residents;
• People in the United States on or after June 26, 2017;
• Dual citizens with a nationality other than one of the banned countries;
• Non-Immigrant visa classifications: A-1, A-2, NATO 1 though NATO 6, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4;
• 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 or protection under the Convention Against Torture;
• Anyone who has a visa that was valid on June 26, 2017, or later;
• Foreign nationals who “have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
What is a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity?” The Department of State has drafted a restrictive list and I anticipate people to sue who are not on the list of approved relationships. According to DOS, a “close family relationship is defined as a parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, fiancé(e), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and sibling, whether whole or half. This includes step relationships. However, “close family” does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and any other “extended” family members.”
It won’t be as easy to definite the bona fide business relationship. The Supreme Court specifically said students who come to study at a U.S. university won’t be included in the travel ban, but what about someone coming to the U.S. to go to Disney World and they’ve already purchased their tickets and made non-refundable hotel reservations?
The ban went into effect on June 29th. Since then, the airports have been mostly quiet, unlike what we saw in January with the first travel ban. However, within the first few hours of the ban’s implementation, Hawaii filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration. We will see how this plays out this summer – but I do think we’ll see more lawsuits, particularly in regards to who the Department of State says is a “close relationship.” We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.