Written by Abed Ayoub, Legal Director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
It’s Day 5 of the Trump presidency, and several executive orders have been signed — from the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines to abortion rights abroad to directing a committee to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But it doesn’t end there. In the upcoming days, there are several additional plans for the construction of “the border wall” between the U.S. and Mexico, as well as the “Muslim immigration ban” — which would include restricting refugees.
Here are 7 key areas the executive order on the “Muslim ban” might cover:
- The Executive Order signed by Donald Trump will list six (predominantly Muslim) countries where travel/immigration to the U.S. will be banned. There will be an option to add more at a later date. Similar to NSEERS. These countries are:
- It is advised that students from the listed countries not leave the U.S. They won’t be permitted back in. Do not overstay your visa — if you have to leave, please do so. If you are uncertain, please seek the advice of an immigration attorney.
- We do not know what happens to visa holders from countries who are currently in the U.S.
- People from listed countries who have visas, but haven’t traveled to the U.S., won’t be allowed in. Their visa is void.
- The ban may extend to spouses of U.S. citizens who are from one of the listed countries, and have pending applications to U.S.
- The Executive Order will call for what’s known as a “values test.” This is an ideology test. It might ask applicants about religious beliefs.
- The Executive Order coming after the ban will focus on the wall, and increasing deportations.The ADC Legal Department offers pro bono legal services, email@example.com.
There has been debate over whether this decision might be illegal and unconstitutional. Some experts argue that it falls under blatant prejudice against an entire religion, and that it’s difficult to track when placing general, arbitrary criteria during the vetting process on incoming migrants.
The Executive Order poses further harm towards Syrian refugees, most of whom are heavily displaced. The United States has only admitted a total of 18,000 refugees since 2011 — alongside an already-lengthy and strict vetting process, which often takes 18-24 months.
Stephen Legomsky, chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Obama administration, and a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, said, “From a legal standpoint, it would be exactly within his legal rights. But from a policy standpoint, it would be terrible idea because there is such an urgent humanitarian need right now for refugees.”
The Executive Order is expected to be signed today, indicated further through a Tweet from President Trump on plans for “National Security.”