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Know Your Rights: Immigration & Asylum in the US under the Executive Order

Updated: Mon, 3 Jul 2017

Introduction

On March 6, 2017, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order that, among other actions, temporarily suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and banned people from six majority-Muslim countries—Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen—from entering the United States for 90 days (“Executive Order Restricting Travel to the U.S. from Certain Countries and Imposing Refugee Restrictions,” referred to unofficially as the “Muslim ban”).  However, on March 15 and 16, 2017, before the provisions went into effect, federal district courts in Maryland and Hawai‘i issued orders temporarily blocking the enforcement of these provisions. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld and substantially upheld the respective injunctions. The government sought Supreme Court review and a stay of the injunctions. On June 14, 2017, the President amended the Executive Order, delaying the effective date of the enjoined provisions until the date on which the injunctions are lifted or stayed, and providing for implementation 72 hours after the injunctions are lifted or stayed. On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court consolidated the cases, granted the petition to hear the case in October, and partially granted the government’s request for a stay. Specifically, the Supreme Court stated that the travel ban would go into effect only for individuals without a bona fide relationship to person or entity in the United States. The travel and refugee ban was put into effect for those without a bona fide relationship with the United States at 8:00 pm EST on June 29, 2017.

In partnership with the Thomson Reuters Foundation and with the assistance of Journey’s End Refugee Services (JERS), the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and important law firm partners have prepared this “Know-Your-Rights Guide” to assist the public, particularly current and potentially impacted individuals, in understanding the travel and refugee bans of the current Executive Order. This “Know-Your-Rights Guide” is written in a question-and-answer format and divided into three sections: (1) the scope of the Executive Order’s travel and refugee bans; (2) the implementation of the Executive Order’s travel and refugee bans; and (3) rights and legal recourse for impacted individuals.

This “Know-Your-Rights Guide” is meant to provide a high-level overview for informational purposes only and is not meant to provide legal advice.  For legal assistance for affected individuals, we recommend reaching out to the contacts identified in Appendix A. Please note that the situation is very fluid at this time and could change quickly. Thomson Reuters Foundation and IRAP will undertake every effort to keep this document up to date as the situation develops.

On March 6, 2017, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order that, among other actions, temporarily suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and banned people from six majority-Muslim countries—Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen—from entering the United States for 90 days (“Executive Order Restricting Travel to the U.S. from Certain Countries and Imposing Refugee Restrictions,” referred to unofficially as the “Muslim ban”).  However, on March 15 and 16, 2017, before the provisions went into effect, federal district courts in Maryland and Hawai‘i issued orders temporarily blocking the enforcement of these provisions. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld and substantially upheld the respective injunctions. The government sought Supreme Court review and a stay of the injunctions. On June 14, 2017, the President amended the Executive Order, delaying the effective date of the enjoined provisions until the date on which the injunctions are lifted or stayed, and providing for implementation 72 hours after the injunctions are lifted or stayed. On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court consolidated the cases, granted the petition to hear the case in October, and partially granted the government’s request for a stay. Specifically, the Supreme Court stated that the travel ban would go into effect only for individuals without a bona fide relationship to person or entity in the United States. The travel and refugee ban was put into effect for those without a bona fide relationship with the United States at 8:00 pm EST on June 29, 2017.

In partnership with the Thomson Reuters Foundation and with the assistance of Journey’s End Refugee Services (JERS), the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and important law firm partners have prepared this “Know-Your-Rights Guide” to assist the public, particularly current and potentially impacted individuals, in understanding the travel and refugee bans of the current Executive Order. This “Know-Your-Rights Guide” is written in a question-and-answer format and divided into three sections: (1) the scope of the Executive Order’s travel and refugee bans; (2) the implementation of the Executive Order’s travel and refugee bans; and (3) rights and legal recourse for impacted individuals.

This “Know-Your-Rights Guide” is meant to provide a high-level overview for informational purposes only and is not meant to provide legal advice.  For legal assistance for affected individuals, we recommend reaching out to the contacts identified in Appendix A. Please note that the situation is very fluid at this time and could change quickly. Thomson Reuters Foundation and IRAP will undertake every effort to keep this document up to date as the situation develops.

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