Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 7, 2017 - On January 27, the President issued an executive order banning admission to the United States from seven Muslim majority countries.
In summary, the order suspended all refugee admissions for 120-days and cut the total number of refugees permitted to be admitted down to 50,000 for 2017. The number of refugees that were originally to be accepted was set at 110,000. Another section of the executive order suspended Syrian admissions until the President felt that it was in the national interest to reconsider it and that sufficient changes have been made to the refugee program. It is not clear what those changes may be.
The countries affected by the sweeping ban included Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq and Iran. There was speculation that other countries may be added to the list. In addition, consular authority was suspended, which previously allowed interviews for non-immigrants to be waived for visa renewals.
The impact of this executive order affected thousands of people and ultimately resulted in a legal challenge. On Thursday, February 9, 2017 a San Francisco federal appeals court upheld the initial suspension of this controversial immigration order. Three judges on the panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously refused to reinstate the order after Seattle federal Judge James Robart had ordered a halt to it just after it was issued.
The key ratio decidendi of the San Francisco federal appeals court was that, contrary to the Department of Justice (DOJ) argument that the President has the authority to issue such orders for national security and they are unreviewable, the court is not bound by this decision. The court released a statement saying that, “although courts owe considerable deference to the President’s policy determinations with respect to immigration and national security, it is beyond question that the federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action."
With regard to the claim that the order was unreviewable, the court stated, "There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy."
“The ban affected ordinary [people's] lives traveling to visit with families and friends and everyone from those ‘banned’ countries who were American citizens who held jobs in the U.S. The consequences of not being able to return to their country were staggering,” stated Huston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee. “In light of the court refusing to allow the ban to continue, things have somewhat returned to normal.”
What does the future hold for business and non-business immigration? “That’s a difficult question,” added Banerjee. “One thing is clear though, each change to the system must be carefully thought out and approached with care and compassion. Immigration is the heart and soul of this country in virtually every sector of our lives.”
For immigrants wondering how this recent upheaval and further court challenges to come may affect them, it is best to reach out to an experienced immigration attorney.
Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street, Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139