THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS PRESIDENT TRUMP'S "TRAVEL BAN": WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU?

After over a year of litigation, the United States Supreme Court recently upheld President Trump’s so-called “travel ban” as constitutional and statutorily permissible. See Trump v. Hawaii, 585 U.S. ____ (2018). Criticized by many as invidious, imprudent, or unnecessary, Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 attempts to improve screening procedures related to national security for individuals from countries that may present “public safety threats.” 82 Fed. Reg. 45161 (2017) (the “Travel Ban”). To this end, the Travel Ban placed certain types of entry restrictions on the nationals of eight (8) countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia, and Yemen. Although the restrictions differ from country to country and do not apply to all individuals attempting to enter the United States from those countries, many still wish to know what the Travel Ban does and whether it will affect them.

The Travel Ban prohibits entry into the United States as an immigrant for nationals of the following countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. For those seeking to enter the United States as nonimmigrants, the Travel Ban prohibits the issuance of certain business and tourist visas from the following countries: Chad, Libya, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Yemen. Importantly, for nationals of North Korea and Syria, the Travel Ban prohibits entry into the United States regardless of whether the individual seeking entry is attempting to enter as an immigrant or a nonimmigrant. As for Venezuela, the Travel Ban’s entry restrictions only appear to apply to certain Venezuelan government officials.

However, the Travel Ban does contain exceptions. The Travel Ban does not prohibit entry of the following categories of individuals coming from the countries listed above: lawful permanent residents of the United States, foreign nationals who have been granted asylum by the United States, refugees who have already been admitted to the United States, or individuals who have been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

In any event, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (the “INA”), Congress has given the President the broad authority to limit the entry of any class of foreign nationals when he finds that their entry “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” See 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f). This authority, combined with the latest Supreme Court decision upholding the Travel ban, grants the President extraordinary power to control the entry of foreign nationals into the United States. In this rapidly changing environment within Immigration Law, it is more important than ever before to make legally informed choices regarding immigration and travel to and from the United States. If you or a family member believe that the Travel Ban may affect you, it is crucial to seek the advice of an Immigration Attorney today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrew Goldstein is currently a law clerk at Cole Law Group. He recently graduated from Belmont University College of Law and looks forward to joining CLG as an associate when he is admitted to the Tennessee Bar. Andrew will focus his practice in the areas of Immigration Law and Family Law. Cole Law Group clients will benefit from Andrew's passion for the law and dedication to serving them well.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this article should be construed as legal advice from Cole Law Group, P.C. or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.