President Trump issued four executive orders announcing changes in immigration policy. Several other such memos under White House review have been leaked in draft form.  To clarify the scope and coverage of these orders we provide this summary.

  • January 27, 2017 Muslim countries visa ban order:

The January 27, 2017, order bars all Syrian refugees and suspends U.S. refugee admissions for 120 days.  Beyond refugee impacts, the order also immediately changed immigration process as follows.

  • Foreign nationals not from a listed country: Individuals born in or carrying passports from a country other than Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya may experience these changes:
    • More interviews for visa renewal applicants at U.S. consulates
    • Increased scrutiny of benefits and entry applications
    • Exit systems for departures from the U.S.
    • Changes in the length of U.S. visa validity periods based on reciprocity
    • Suspension of visa issuance to nationals of countries refusing to share security information with the U.S.
  • For foreign nationals holding passports from a listed country who are not U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents may experience:
    • Cancellation of visa interviews
    • Blocked entry to the U.S.
    • Revocation of non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas
    • Suspension of adjudication of pending applications with USCIS (“I forms”)
    • Delay of adjudication of naturalization applications (“N forms”)
    • These provisions endure 90 days and may be enjoined, overridden or extended
  • January 25, 2017 executive order on Interior enforcement:

The January 25, 2017 Executive Order (“EO”) titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” addresses strengthening the domestic enforcement of immigration laws.

  • Key provisions of this Executive Order impact:
    • Enforcement Priorities: The EO expands the enforcement priorities of immigration agencies to now encompass a much wider swath of foreign nationals living in the United States. “Priorities” for enforcement still include those convicted of a crime or who are deemed to pose a security threat, but also now include individuals who have “abused” a public benefits program, lied in the context of an official action with a governmental agency, been charged with any criminal offense when the matter has not yet been resolved, or simply committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense (even if the person has not been charged).
    • More ICE Officers: The EO directs Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hire 10,000 more officers to handle these new enforcement priorities.
    • Sanctuary Cities and Secure Communities: The EO promises to withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that have pledged to refrain from using their own personnel and policies to enforce federal immigration laws. The EO also reinstates the “Secure Communities” program started by President George W. Bush, then expanded and finally discontinued by President Obama. That program relied upon cooperation between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and was the subject of numerous lawsuits regarding the constitutional violations that resulted from it.
    • Public Reporting: The EO requires the publishing of several reports regarding crimes committed by foreign nationals in the United States. It also requires agencies to exempt any non-citizen and non-Lawful Permanent Resident from all privacy protections to the extent permitted by law.
  • January 25, 2017 Border Security order:

The January 25, 2017 EO titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” addresses authorization to:

  • Build a wall bordering Mexico and interior detention centers
  • Hire additional border patrol officers and judges
  • Restrict ‘abuses’ of the asylum and parole systems and
  • Institute removal of more foreign nationals more quickly.

In particular, 5,000 additional border patrol agents are authorized to be hired and state and local law enforcement is empowered to enforce immigration violations in their jurisdictions and on federal public lands. For this purpose, the federal government will ‘engage’ in federal-state agreements to deputize local and state law enforcement officers to investigate, apprehend and detain foreign nationals.

  • January 30, 2017 Zero cost regulation order:

The January 30, 2017 EO titled, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” aims to promote the financially responsible expenditure of funds and to manage and limit private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations.

  • Provisions:
    • 2 for 1 Regulations: This EO requires government agencies to identify at least two prior regulations for elimination for each new regulation issued.
    • Regulator Cap for fiscal year 2017: The EO limits the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, finalized in 2017 to be no greater than zero, unless otherwise required by law.
    • Submission of Annual Regulatory Cost to OMB: For fiscal year 2018 and thereafter, agency heads must identify their best approximation of the incremental cost increases and offsetting savings on a regulation basis rather than for the fiscal year.
  • Draft EO’s

Several other draft Executive Orders have been publicly circulated. These include:

  • “Ending Unconstitutional Executive Amnesties” addressing repeal of the DACA and DAPA executive orders
  • “Protecting Taxpayer Resources by Ensuring our Immigration Laws Promote Accountability and Responsibility” addressing immigrants utilization and access to public benefits
  • “Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of the Foreign Worker Programs” addressing the employment-based immigration and American worker job protections