Feb 8, 2017

Trump's Immigration Executive Order - Are We Back to Where We Started?

Alert | Immigration Law Alert

If you are confused about what is happening with President Donald Trump’s immigration Executive Order (Order), then you are not alone.

PAST – What exactly is the Order?

Trump signed the Order on January 27, 2017, temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries into the United States. The countries affected by the Order are Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen and the ban will continue for 90 days. As stated in the Order, the purpose is to detect individuals with terrorist ties and stop them from entering the United States.

PRESENT – What is the present status of the Order?

In a confusing twist of events, a Federal judge in the state of Washington placed a hold on the Order on January 27, 2017, at the request of the Washington Attorney General. Despite pressure from the White House to reinstate the Order, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block the Federal Judge’s order but set an expedited timetable for the Department of Justice and the State of Washington to submit briefs in support of their respective positions and will hear oral arguments this week. The Ninth Circuit’s decision will only address the temporary hold on the Order. The U.S. Supreme Court will likely address the constitutionality of the Order. Until the Ninth Circuit rules, the Order will not be in effect. 

FUTURE – What does this mean for employers?

The Order is an unlikely example of where corporate, employment, and immigration laws meet. Employers should be cognizant of the following:

  • If employers are looking to bring employees from one of the previously mentioned countries to the United States, they must act fast as there are many unknown moving parts.
  • Employers should also expect an increase in I-9 audits and raids by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in light of Trump administrations broad and immediate efforts to address potential terrorist threats via immigration vetting. Employers should ensure that their supporting documentation is up to date.
  • Employers should advise affected employees to abstain from traveling and remain in the United States until the laws become more defined and clearer.

Please contact one of the listed Roetzel attorneys should you have any questions regarding this issue and to stay up-to-date on immigration laws as they are quickly changing.