New Executive Order on Immigration Expected Next Week

In the aftermath of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision last week to continue to block enforcement of the Trump administration’s travel ban, President Trump announced today during a press conference that a revised executive order on immigration is in the works and is expected to be released as early as next week. While litigation continues as the administration fights to defend what they believe is a lawful order, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested that the Court table any further decisions to maintain the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the president’s initial travel ban while the administration works to finalize and put into play a new “comprehensive” order.

Clarification on Travel Restriction

President Trump stated that the new order “will comprehensively protect our country”. The administration is expected to tailor the revised order to the Ninth Circuit’s decision, and promises to remove any aspects of the order which the Court found to be unconstitutional. The new order is expected to clarify which nationals of the seven countries of concern (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) would be subject to the travel ban and to limit the scope of the ban so that it does not apply to legal permanent residents (“green card holders”) and certain other visa holders.

New Benchmarks for Employment Based Immigration

In addition to the revisions and clarifications on the travel ban, new benchmarks for employment-based immigration are also expected in this new executive order on immigration. In the past few weeks, there have been rumors, as well as a leaked draft executive order, regarding proposed restrictions to the H-1B, L-1B, and the F-1 OPT programs, as well as increased work-site visits by Department of Homeland officials. It is still unclear, however, what, if any, aspects of the leaked draft order will in fact materialize in the new executive order expected next week.

EIG will continue to monitor updates on the executive order on immigration and share our analysis with you.

EIG’s Recommendation: 

Until the new executive order is released, EIG continues to advise that foreign nationals from the seven countries listed in the initial executive order avoid non-essential international travel and use extreme caution before traveling to and from the U.S. Traveling outside the U.S. while the new executive order is implemented may restrict a foreign national’s ability to return to the U.S.

Foreign nationals from the seven countries listed above who have an urgent need to travel abroad, or who are currently outside the U.S. and wish to return to the U.S., are advised to contact their EIG attorney to discuss their travel plans.

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