On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, while visiting the Department of Homeland Security, President Trump signed two executive actions cover the following topics, which are intended to protect U.S. citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the U.S.:

1. Wall Along U.S.-Mexico Border. Based on his supposed authority under the Secure Fence Act of 2006 signed into law by President George W. Bush, which called for 700 miles of “reinforced fencing” along the U.S.-Mexico border along with enhanced surveillance systems, Trump is ordering to build a wall along U.S.-Mexico border. Funding of construction of that wall has yet to be determined.

2. Stop Refugee Admissions. President Trump will enact a 120-day pause in refugee admissions to the U.S., with exceptions permitted for those fleeing religious persecution, if their religion is a minority in their country of nationality. President Trump is also hoping to reduce refugee admissions for FY 2017 to 50,000 from President Obama’s goal of 110,000.

3. Ban Entry to U.S. from Certain Muslim-Majority Countries. President Trump will create a ban on entry into the U.S. for at least 30 days of all immigrants and nonimmigrant nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. He may also require each applicant to demonstrate that he/she is not a security or public-safety threat to the U.S. Other countries may be added and adjudications of other immigration benefits besides visas could be impacted.

4. Uniform Screening for Immigration Benefits. President Trump will add requirements to screenings and procedures for all immigration benefits to identify fraud and detect applicants’ intent to do harm, following up his campaign promise for “extreme vetting.” He will direct immigration agencies to expedite the completion of entries into the biometric entry-exit data system. He will also suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program, requiring all visa applicants to attend a visa interview, unless otherwise exempt by statute.

5. Detention for Illegal Entry. President Trump directed the issuance of new policy guidance to all Department of Homeland Security personnel regarding the appropriate and consistent use of lawful detention authority under the INA, including the termination of the practice commonly known as “catch and release,” whereby aliens are routinely released in the United States shortly after their apprehension for violations of immigration law

6. Curb Funding to Sanctuary Cities. President Trump is expected to limit federal funding to “sanctuary cities” — including Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco — that do not report undocumented immigrants to federal authorities.
More directives on immigration are expected to be signed by President Trump in the near future. So far, President has indicated that he does not intend to “un-sign” “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” DACA which allows certain undocumented immigrants to the United States who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

Read more about the Executive orders here: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/national/read-trumps-executive-order-on-border-and-immigration/2300/

This article is provided for information purposes. Should you have any questions or be interested to learn more about the new executive actions on immigration, contact our office at contact@cugasanalaw.com or call us at 713-574-5381.

Author: Claudine Umuhire Gasana, Immigration Attorney 
Filed under: Immigration law enforcement, Immigration Executive orders, Immigration Policy