By: Jalpa Shah
On February 9, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the government’s request to stay a federal judge’s temporary restraining order against the January 27 Executive Order (which many referred to as the Travel Ban Executive Order). Although future court rulings could reinstate the executive order, currently, this ruling maintains the suspension on the travel ban.
About a month later, on March 6, President Trump signed into effect a new Executive Order focused on travel ban. President Trump has directed in this new Executive Order “that the entry into the United States of nationals of those six countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) be suspended for 90 days from the effective date of this order.” Protestors of the previous ban, which included Iraq, state this is the same ban as before. Litigation is likely to follow.
Requirement to Carry Certain Documents
What does this mean for those traveling? While the travel ban has been suspended, we are recommending immigrants carry certain documents required by law.
Under the U.S. law, foreign nationals (include green card holders or legal permanent residents), age 18 and older must carry documentation of their immigration status in the U.S. Some of these documents, depending on the visa status, include:
- Valid I-94 record.
- Check to see if it has expired and if you have filed for change of status, carry your receipt notice.
- Passport with valid entry stamp.
- Green Card or if you have not yet received your green card, carry your passport with the I-551 stamp.
- EAD card (if you have one).
If you are in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa or as an LPR and are not aware of the legal requirements, you may contact your nearest Chugh office for additional assistance. This especially applies to those on F-1 and OPT, who must follow their reporting obligations.
Employers – Maintenance of Required Documents
This is also a cautionary tale for employers who may have overlooked the documentation requirements before. Employers must become compliant with the immigration requirements as required by the law. Should your company require an internal audit, you may contact your nearest Chugh office.
Focus Shifts to Crime Reduction
Since the February 9th decision, President Trump has promised a revised travel ban executive order. However, the administration has not yet issued a revised ban.
The administration’s focus on February 9 shifted to crime reduction as the President issued the following executive order:
- “Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety”
- “Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers”
- “Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking”
With the issuing of above executive orders, ICE raids arrested hundreds of individuals around the country and have put individuals on high alert.
During this team, it is very important for individuals to know their rights. You may contact an attorney to learn what you can do or cannot do in certain situations with the government.
House and Senate Bills
In addition to the executive orders, the following bills were also introduced in Congress:
S. 180: H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017
The most discussed Grassley bill that took the internet with storm was introduced on January 20, 2017 and referred to Committee on the same day. No updates on this bill have occurred.
H.R. 392: Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017
The House Bill (H.R. 392: Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017) was introduced on January 10, 2017. The bill requests removal of the per-country numerical limitations for employment-based immigrants and to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants. This could potentially decrease the waiting time for those Indian nationals who have a pending employment-based immigration petition filed. This was referred to Committee on January, 2017 and no further actions have taken place since this referral.
A similar bill was also introduced in the Senate and referred to a committee on February 2, 2017 (S. 281: Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017).
Most recently, Patrick Thibodeau of Computerworld has reported that Senator Orrin Hatch is working on a new bill to increase the H-1B cap. When Senator Hatch introduced the I-Squared bill in 2015, it requested an increase from 65,000 to 115,000 with no cap on the US Masters exemption.