Evan Heitkamp Boucher is a WRITER AND POLITICAL SCIENCE LECTURER BASED IN GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA

Trump's Muslim Ban Summary - Updated 3:25 PM CST 5/25/2017

لو أنت لاجئً او محجراً و تقلق حول الأمرمن البيت البيضاء فإتصل هذا الرقم 212.725.6422

لو تُعتقل فلا تتكلم اى شى عن قضيتك القانونية عندك حقوق في الولايات المتحدة رغم الرئيس الجديد. أطلب بالمحامية و لاتوقع الورق بإسم "ي" ٤٠٧ . عندك الحق باللجع في محكمة و حتى تلك حدث من الممنوع عن ترحيل لك الحكومةً .ككُتبت علي فإتصل نفس الرقم بمساعدة قانونية

Update Friday, February 10 at 4:45 PM: the Trump Administration has announced that it will not contest the ruling of an federal appeals court that struck down the Muslim Ban. At present, Trump has hinted at recreating something similar in the future, but it is currently unclear what the future of Trump immigration policy will be on the Middle East. While it may seem like conservative advice, the author still recommends against non-essential travel for those affected by the executive order, on the grounds of the current administration's seemingly strident efforts to achieve this policy without warning. Update Friday, February 10 at 5:20 PM: The Trump Administration has reneged on its plan to not challenge the executive order's strikedown in court. The White House will challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.

Yesterday's executive order to halt immigration, revoke visas, and ban entry to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa will dramatically impact the United States, including the University of North Dakota and the greater Grand Forks community. 

Here is what we know currently:

Any person in the United States holding a passport in any capacity (dual citizen of a non-banned country and a banned country, student visa, worker visa, Green Card-holder) from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen is affected by Donald Trump's executive order. Any individual that meets the above criteria should stay within U.S. borders, if it is his or her intention to remain in the United States or be able to return at some point in the future. This is the most important element of the executive order for the public to understand.

On the evening of Saturday, January 28 judges in both New York and Virginia stayed the deportations of individuals currently on visas from the seven countries. The federal ruling in New York applies to all states in the United States and therefore current holders of visas, Green Cards, and/or refugee status inside the United States are presently safe from deportation. As of 10:28 PM CST on Saturday, January 28, it is unclear how long these stays will persist. Any person currently residing in the United States who is a non-U.S. citizen of the seven countries subject to the executive order should still avoid disclosing his or her immigration or dual-citizen status that includes a banned country if at all possible. This recommendation comes as a matter of public safety and widespread law enforcement confusion about enforcing the vaguely-worded executive order while it is challenged in a number of courts. Update 1:44 AM Sunday, January 29th: the Department of Homeland security has confirmed that it will enforce the stay of deportations. 10:00 PM CST February 4 update: a federal judge ruled that deportations, travel visa revocations for those currently abroad, and travel visa revocations for people on current visas in the United States are not legal nationwide. This ruling is being challenged by the Trump Department of Justice. It is still advisable to proceed with caution, even if you are a Green Card or current visa holder, despite this regulation.  9:48 AM CST February 2 update: A federal judge in the 9th circuit court ruled against Trump's request to reinstate the ban immediately.

At present, there are numerous verified reports of Green Card holders (i.e. permanent residents) who are citizens of one of the seven affected countries being denied entry to the United States. Green Card holders should therefore avoid leaving the country if at all possible. If leaving the country is entirely unavoidable, pack a sufficient amount of cash for a potential long-term stay overseas. Saturday, January 28 10:44 PM CST update: a Trump White House contact confirmed to Reuters that any Green Card holder outside of the United States should contact U.S. consular authorities before attempting to return to the United States. You can find your country's embassy contact information here, which will allow you to route to a closer consulate. January 29 11:32 AM CST update: Trump White House claims to lessen detention on permanent residents heading through airports, but asserts there will still be "extra vetting." This statement retains the ambiguity of the earlier executive order and, for that reason, the above advice remains in place.

Dual citizens of the seven banned countries and another non-banned country are also being turned away at the border. Like Green Card holders, these individuals should not leave the country.

Refugees with refugee status prior to the Friday executive order are not being deported or threatened with deportation. 

Any individual detained by customs and border protection (CBP) as a result of Trump's executive order or any other stated reason has rights:

  1. If you are a Green Card holder do NOT sign sign form I-407 under any circumstances. 

  2. You have a right to a hearing with an immigration judge. Do not relinquish this right.

  3. Demand an attorney and do not speak about your case to CBP at any point

If you are arrested or detained by ICE, immigrant defense project has a thorough guide on your rights.

General update: the executive order is making its way through the courts now. On Tuesday, February 7, there was a hearing in a California court that hinted at skepticism of the legality of the ban. Regardless of the outcome, it is likely that the bill will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The central recommendation of the author and legal scholars with whom he has consulted is that anyone currently legally allowed in the country should remain in the country for all non-essential travel. Those who may be visiting for a lengthy period of time (new job, school, etc.) should be prepared for a last-minute visa revocation as the executive order works its way through the courts. 

This post will be updated as more news develops. The author is in the process of collecting pro-bono legal assistance contact numbers specific to North Dakota, but every American Bar Association website has numbers for free legal services, although they may not be sufficiently expedient. Here some legal resources for immigrants and refugees that are being updated as the author receives more information:

  • http://www.legalassist.org/?id=51
  • https://www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory/organization.393084-Lutheran_Social_Services_of_North_Dakota_Immigration_Services

Update 3/30/2017: The administration released an additional ban, but it is also being held up in federal court. Updates to follow, but the main question around this policy comes from whether or not the administration will escalate it to the Supreme Court. 

Update 5/25/2017: The Muslim Ban continues to be left in a freeze after a federal appeals court roundly upheld that the ban represents an unchecked executive power expansion. More on this later, as information comes in.

Note: If you are an attorney in North Dakota interested in assisting on immigration cases pro bono OR need casual interpreting assistance between Arabic and English, please contact me at evan.boucher@bowtiedespots.com.

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