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Trump’s Executive Order: Effects on Green Card Holders and Dual Citizens

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Below are some details on how Lawful Permanent Residents and Dual Nationals are affected by Trump’s executive order restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries as of the morning of February 3, 2017. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS COULD BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON THE TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER RECENTLY ISSUED BY A FEDERAL JUDGE IN SEATTLE.

Where do green card holders from Trump’s seven banned countries stand?

Senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security initially interpreted Trump’s order to not apply to green card holders from the seven banned countries. However, the Trump White House overruled this interpretation to interpret that green card holders were initially barred.

Things became more complicated with a federal judge’s blockage of Trump’s order in the Eastern District Court of New York on January 28, where the judge held that aliens with valid visas who had already arrived in the United States could not (for the time being) be removed from the United States. This hold also extended to green card holders from those seven countries.

Officials from the Trump administration later commented on the application of the executive order to Lawful Permanent Residents. Although there is still much debate as to how the executive order will be applied to green card holders from these seven countries, it has been surmised that these travelers can currently expect the following:

Travelers will be allowed to board their plane and fly to the United States. Once they land, their fingerprints and other information will be collected and they will be subject to a secondary interview, in part, to judge whether the traveler is a national security risk. Customs and border patrol however, has discretionary authority to question these travelers.

Where do Green Card Holders in general stand?

Despite complaints questioning the application of the executive order to green card holders, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued a statement clarifying that “lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.” According to DHS officials, green card holders returning to the United States will still go through additional screening and national security checks upon landing. Unless they have a significant criminal history or links to terrorism, they will be allowed back in the country after going the check the official said.

Dual Citizenship:

The executive order also applies to people who originally come from those countries but are traveling on a passport issued by any other nations. This means that Iraqis seeking to enter the U.S. on a British passport, for instance, will be barred. Specifically, travelers who have nationality or dual nationality from one of these countries will not be permitted for 90 days to enter the United States or be issued an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa. This also means that visa interviews will not be scheduled for nationals of these countries during this period.

The executive order however, does not apply to those dual nationals who hold U.S. citizenship. It is also unclear as to whether certain other dual nationals will be exempted. For example, there has been some talk that those dual nationals with British citizenship would not be affected.

The text of the executive order  can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states

 

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