For people harboring the hope that President Trump would suddenly have a realization that immigrants aren’t all criminals out to take American jobs (isn’t that an inherent contradiction?), today was a jarring reality check. We are getting a wall (albeit American taxpayers will presumably be giving up some of our social security benefits to come up with the $25 billion this elaborate boondoggle will cost). We got a new prosecutorial discretion policy that says ICE will focus on criminals (unfortunately, everyone who entered illegally fits the definition). Asylum applicants at the southern border will get lots of new asylum officers and immigration judges to hear their cases (which is really amazing since there’s a hiring freeze in the government).

There was language in there telling the government to start keeping tabs on how much aid Mexico gets from the US. Perhaps that’s a hint that Mexico will pay for the wall by having their aid withheld. Unfortunately, that will take about 60 years.

But one of the most disheartening pieces of news for me today was the news that we’re about to get an executive order to decimate the refugee program. I got a look at the draft order and summarized on Twitter earlier today. Here’s the stream of tweets explaining what’s coming:

Seeing text now of the Muslim ban executive order and will summarize. It’s six pages. 1st section is BS review of why we’re all threatened.

Sec. 2 says US policy is to protect citizens from terrorists & prevent people from entering who want to do us harm.Really?That wasn’t clear?

Section 3 – Suspension of issuance of visas & other immigration benefits to national of countries of particular concern.

DHS, DOS and Dir of Natl Intel will review what info is needed from any country to decide visas and admissions & to see who is not a threat.

DHS will submit to Prez a report of results within 30 days of this order.

There’s a bar on issuing immigrant/ nonimmigrant entries for countries on list at Division O, Title II, Sect. 203 of 2016 Appropriations Act

Readers – Can someone go find that list?

Once report is received, DOS will ask all countries that don’t supply info to provide within 60 days of notification.

After that, DHS/DOS will submit a list of countries recommended 4 a Prez proclamation that would bar entry from non-complying countries.

Dara Lind @DLind

@gsiskind Pretty sure that’s the list identified by Reuters yesterday: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen

Additional countries can be submitted by DHS/DOS after this list is submitted.

Notwithstanding, DHS/DOS may issue visas or other imm benefits on a case-by-case basis.

No details on how one requests an exception.

James Hollis @jwhollis

@gsiskind it’s the list from the VWP restriction from last year.

Section 4 – Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for all Immigration Programs.

David Bier @David_J_Bier

@gsiskind it’s the visa waiver restrictions Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen

DHS, DOS, Dir of Natl Intel and FBI will implement a program to have uniform screening standards and procedures for identifying terrorists.

List of parts to program – in-person interviews, database of ID docs, changing forms to ask questions better able to spot malicious intent.

Once report is received, DOS will ask all countries that don’t supply info to provide within 60 days of notification.

After that, DHS/DOS will submit a list of countries recommended 4 a Prez proclamation that would bar entry from non-complying countries.

Additional countries can be submitted by DHS/DOS after this list is submitted.

Notwithstanding, DHS/DOS may issue visas or other imm benefits on a case-by-case basis.

No details on how one requests an exception.

Section 4 – Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for all Immigration Programs.

DHS, DOS, Dir of Natl Intel and FBI will implement a program to have uniform screening standards and procedures for identifying terrorists.

List of parts to program – in-person interviews, database of ID docs, changing forms to ask questions better able to spot malicious intent.

“a process to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positive contributing member of society.” That’s interesting.

ReplyCreate a “mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts.”No one ever considered that?

View Tweet activySection 5. Realignment of the US Refugee Admissions Program for FY 2017. Admissions suspended for 120 days while DHS/DOS review the process.

Refugees already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of the revised procedures.

After 120 days, only admission for countries where safeguards are in place to ensure security of the American public

After admissions resume, claims based on religious-based persecution will be prioritized if the religion is a minority religion.

  1. Paul Herzog‏@PaulHerzog3 

@gsiskind So basically advise your client to claim he/she is Christian

Syrian refugee program is over until Trump determines sufficient changes have been made.

50,000 refugee admissions this year (that’s about a 50% reduction.

Notwithstanding 120 day ban, exceptions may be made on case by case basis for national interest reasons.

Also, during the 120 day period, religious persecution cases may continue for people from minority religions.

Section 6. Establishment of safe zones to protect vulnerable Syrian populations.

DOS and DOD within 90 days will produce a plan to provide safe areas in Syria and the surrounding region for Syrians displaced by the war.

Section 7. Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility.

DOS/DHS and AG will consider rescinding waivers of terrorism grounds.

Sorry, terrorism grounds of inadmissibility

Section 8. Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System. DHS will expedite completion of this program authorized in 2005

Section 9. Visa Interview Security.DOS will suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program & require in-person interviews of all visa applicants.

To ensure wait times aren’t affected, the Consular Fellows Program will be expanded.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Section 10. Visa Validity Reciprocity. DOS will review the reciprocity charts to ensure US nationals being treated in a reciprocal manner.

Countries not doing so will have their treatment altered accordingly

Section 11. Transparency and Data Collection. DHS will begin providing the following every 180 days:

info on the number of foreign-born people in the US who have been charged, convicted or removed for terrorism-related offenses

  • info on numbers of people radicalized after entry and engaging in terrorism-related acts or who’ve provided material support.
  • info on numbers of people radicalized after entry and engaging in terrorism-related acts or who’ve provided material support.
  • info on the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women or honor killings by foreign-born people in the US.

Last section are general provisions and not about policy.

Greg Siskind

Greg Siskind

Greg Siskind is a partner with Siskind Susser, PC - Immigration Lawyers. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, he received his law degree at the University of Chicago. He created the first immigration law web site in 1994 and the first law blog in 1997. He's written four books and currently serves on the board of governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He can be reached by email at gsiskind@visalaw.com.
Greg Siskind
Share →
%d bloggers like this: