Federal Courts temporarily block “Travel Ban”

Two Federal District Courts in Hawai’i and Maryland have temporarily blocked portions of President Trump’s most recent Executive Order (EO) that was due to take effect today.    The ban on visa issuance to and entry into the U.S. of citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and on the entry of refugees from any country, cannot take effect as the challenge to the EO makes its way through the Courts on the merits.  The Courts found that the plaintiffs had a likelihood of success of proving that the travel ban is unconstitutionally based on religion, due to statements made by President Trump and his administration during the campaign and before and after issuance of the first EO travel ban issued on Jan. 27, 2017.

Note that other parts of the EO were not enjoined from taking effect, such as the requirement for in-person interviews for all non-immigrant visa applicants (from any country), including those who previously may not have had to attend an in-person interview.

How does this effect Maine businesses?

  • Any employees (whether naturalized U.S. Citizens, permanent residents, or nonimmigrant visa holders) from the six named countries should be advised to expect a heightened level of questioning at U.S. ports of entry following any travel abroad, despite the injunction preventing the EO’s travel ban portions from taking effect.   They should be advised to consult with a competent immigration attorney before traveling abroad.
  • If you have immigrant employees from any of the six named countries or who entered the U.S. as refugees, be aware that there is still a high level of fear and concern that their relatives whom they were expecting to immigrate soon may not be able to come.
  • If you have an employee who needs to renew her/his work visa abroad, the process may be more complicated and take much longer than usual because of the need for an in-person interview at the relevant U.S. consulate.

For further information:  Contact your business’s immigration attorney, or Beth Stickney at bstickney@mainebic.org