After President Trump’s recent inauguration he has quickly gone about his business, clearly imprinting his name into American politics and media circles across the world, due to many of his controversial views potentially affecting millions of people if they come into being. At Arlingsworth we will regularly update you on any significant enactments or laws Mr Trump brings in. Starting with the globally criticised immigration ban, issued by Donald Trump on Friday January 27th 2017, we have broken down the order for you, highlighting key changes and effects it may have on those wishing to enter the USA.

The key features of the order are:

    • The suspension of “the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days.”
    • Syrian refugees have been ruled as “detrimental to the interests of the United States” and as such have been banned from entering the USA until further notice.
    • Those from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the seven majority-Muslim countries, have all been ruled as “detrimental to the interests of the United States”, and entry into the USA has been suspended for “such persons for 90 days from the date of this order.”
    • “The entry of more than 50,000 refugees” in 2017 has been ruled as “detrimental to the interests of the United States, significantly reducing Barack Obama’s limit of 110,000.
    • The Visa Interview Waiver Program has been suspended and all individuals who are seeking a non-immigrant visa, must now “undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.”

The rules apply to all travellers who have nationality or dual nationality of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, including nationals of those countries which are perceived to be in alliance with such countries, with the exception of Canada.

The executive order is seen as unwelcome by many, with large-scale protests happening across vast swathes of the world against reforms viewed as divisive and counter-productive.

It was also initially unclear as to whether the executive order and its changes applied to Green Card Holders (cards confirming ability for an individual to permanently reside within the US). Since the introduction of the order, it has been confirmed by the Trump administration that Green Card Holders are exempt from the order’s clutches, despite potential requirements for “extra screening” which will be determined on a case-by case basis.

Not only resulting in technical confusion, there have also been issues implementing the order in practise with a federal judge temporarily halting “the deportation of visa holders or refugees stranded at US airports”, after Trump’s executive order was swiftly challenged in the courts. American passengers themselves “have been prevented from boarding US-bound flights.” Travellers who may fall under any of these rules should check beforehand on their status of travelling to and from America, giving extra time for any unexpected delays or procedures.

One constant and underlying rhetoric used by President Trump is to “protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States.” Combining the frequent use of these words and using the “terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001” as support for his actions, Donald Trump is aiming to align the order with protecting the American people.

This hasn’t prevented large amounts of people from around the world criticising his decision, with rights groups arguing the order unfairly targets Muslims simply because of their faith, and avoids a further issue with the majority of terrorist related attacks recently in the US being “carried out by US nationals or citizens from countries not included in the travel ban.” Furthermore none of the attackers who committed the attacks on 9/11 come from the countries included on the list, perhaps indicating there are more cynical and covert reasons behind Trump’s executive order such as allowing his business interests to continue to flourish.

Despite Trump’s reasoning based on security, the order is very controversial and disconcerting for refugees who are very likely to be in dire situations. At Arlingsworth, we can aid those who aren’t sure of their rights after Trump’s executive ban and if you are a UK citizen wishing to travel to the US, fearing you may be caught under this ban, please call us our immigration experts for further advice on 01273 696962. Alternatively, you can request a callback, or email You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for any other important news and updates.

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