District Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order on Portions of Executive Order
February 6, 2017
On February 3, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order, prohibiting the federal government from enforcing certain aspects of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order on Immigration. Specifically, all land and airport inspectors are prohibited until further court order from enforcing:
- the 90-day travel ban on immigrants and nonimmigrants from designated countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen;
- the 120-day ban on the U.S. refugee program;
- the prioritization of certain refugee claims based on being a religious minority; and
- the indefinite suspension of Syrian refugee admissions.
According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), “the Department of State has confirmed that assuming there are no other issues, provisionally revoked visas have been reversed and are once again valid for travel.
AILA reports that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Offices have been instructed to immediately resume inspection of travelers under standard policies and procedures. All airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality.
AILA also confirmed with CBP that individuals who arrived last weekend and had their visas physically cancelled as a result of the EO will not need to reapply for a new visa and absent any other admissibility issues will receive an I-193 waiver (Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa) upon arrival to the U.S. For those traveling by air, airlines have been instructed to contact CBP to receive authorization to permit boarding.”
The Trump administration filed an emergency motion request to immediately stay the District Court’s temporary halt on February 5, but that was denied by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, who asked both sides to file briefs before making a decision. Therefore, the District Court’s temporary order stands.
The EO’s provision relating to suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program is not affected by the District Court’s temporary restraining order. Weaver Schlenger continues to advise against non-emergency travel for anyone who requires a new visa stamp, as substantial processing delays at U.S. Consulates and Embassies remain likely.