Executive Order 13769, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, politically labeled as the “Muslim Ban” or a “travel ban”, was a controversial executive order by the former US Administration. Except for the extent to which it was blocked by various courts, it was in effect from January 27, 2017, until March 6, 2017, when it was superseded by Executive Order 13780.

Executive Order 13769 lowered the number of refugees to be admitted into the United States in 2017 to 50,000, suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, suspended the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely, directed to suspend entry of those whose countries do not meet adjudication standards under U.S. immigration law for 90 days, excluding exceptions on a case-by-case basis. More than 700 travelers were detained, and up to 60,000 visas were “provisionally revoked”.

The ban was amended several times in the face of numerous court challenges arguing the previous administration did not have the legal authority to issue it, and that it unlawfully discriminated against Muslims. The third version of the ban, ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court, barred citizens of seven countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea — from obtaining any kind of visas, largely preventing them from entering the US.

The former US Administration expanded the ban last February to include additional restrictions on citizens of six more countries: Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. While they could still visit the US, citizens of these countries were, for the most part, barred from settling in the US permanently.

Students that have the F1 visa are put at risk with this executive order. Since F1 visas only allow these visa holders one-entry into the United States, this executive order may not allow these individuals to come back if they decide to leave the country for a school break. Due to the ban, the students on F1 visas potentially may not be able to see their families for several years, especially if their parents cannot enter the United States as a result of the ban.

In addition to the impacts of visas being revoked and family separation, data from the State Department suggests that fewer people have been applying for visas since the ban was enacted. In the fiscal year 2019, immigration authorities granted about 39,000 visas to noncitizens from the original seven countries covered by the ban as compared to almost 338,000 just three years prior — about an 88 percent drop. Iran and Venezuela saw the biggest declines.

Hours after the new US President was sworn into office on Wednesday, an executive order was signed to repeal the order, a move that analysts say sets the tone for the new administration’s first term. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell both issued statements on Wednesday welcoming the reversal, as did 81 civil rights, faith, and community groups that had been working to overturn the measure.

Have you or your family been affected by Executive Order 13769? It is more important now than ever in these trying times to have adequate representation, we can help you navigate the road ahead. Call Us Today for a free consultation.

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