On Recent Executive Orders Concerning Immigration

There has been significant response -- from policy, government, and legal experts as well as from several sectors of a concerned public -- to recent Presidential Executive Orders regarding immigration. Of note, signed today was an order entitled, Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals, which suspends the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, and also temporarily freezes (for 90 days) immigration from seven countries: Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. It has been a point of real concern that the seven listed countries are Muslim-majority, and that the list stems from one delineated in prior administration policy. The order also calls for an expedited completion and implementation of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System for all travelers coming into the United States.

Below is information that will likely educate and prove useful:

1. Full Text of Executive Order, Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals: as provided by The New York Times, and also here in release form independently stored as a cloud document.

2. A Continually Updated List of Presidential Actions: as provided by The White House.

3. Discussions of Constitutionality and Precedence: It is essential to know and read more about US history regarding such actions, including prior rationale and civic procedures for establishing and later removing bans on immigration due to race, sexual orientation, and medical status. Examples of such discussions have been provided by The US News and World Report, The Constitution Center, Politico, and The Guardian.

4. Public, Government and Institutional Response: While the responses have been continual since Jan 27 and would be difficult to catalogue fully, a reader can attend to the varied classes and range of the responses. These include institutional and government concern from the Head of the African Union and the United Nations Secretary-General, from a number of European leaders, from a range of business leaders (most expressively the technology sector), and from a range of rights groups. Other responses to track and note include Iran's declared intent to bar entry of US citizen in retaliation and a range of narrated accounts elucidating the public impact on families, education, and health care: as provided by refugees in Cairo, at the Dabaab camp at the border of Kenya and Somalia, by a Somali family reunited with considerable difficulty, by asylum seekers already in the United States, by medical trainee citizens of the listed countries holding valid US visas, by international graduate students, and by practitioners with an informed perspective on difficulties of developing careers of care as US immigrants

5. Advice for Wider Public on Civic Engagement: Reputable advice and aid have thus far included reminders to US citizens regarding the effect of their phone calls and email messages on elected officials; models for ID-provision services organized and funded by state and local governments; lists of helpful local and grass-roots initiatives; travel advisories; educational vehicles focused on efficacious paths to permanent resident status; and developing legal advice for permanent residents from the seven listed countries when stopped at airports.

6. See further synopsis provided by The Guardian, including notice of the first filed legal attempts at declaratory and injunctive relief for those held at airports.

7. Clarification (Jan 28): The State department has further clarified that the 90-day visa moratorium extends to those holding non-USA dual citizenship along with citizenship in Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Source: The Wall Street Journal.

8. Temporary Stay (Jan 28): The US Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York has issued an emergency stay halting part of the President's Executive Order, regarding entry in the US for immigrants from the seven listed countries. The stay is temporary and national, and it specifically frees those detained in transit (e.g. at airports). Sources: BBC Africa, NPR, The Verge.

9. Government Response to Recent Litigation (Jan 29): The Department of Homeland Security has released a response to recent litigation stating that the President’s Executive Orders remain in place and will be carried out. See the response statement from DHS.

10. Other Temporary Stays (Feb 1 onwards): Since the first temporary stay from the Eastern District of New York, stays have been issued from US District Courts in Los Angeles and Seattle

11. State Department Reversal (Feb 4): The State Dept has announced that it will reverse its earlier revocation of valid visas, in compliance with the stay issued from the Seattle US District Court. Source: The Washington Post.

12. Appellate Judges Uphold Stay (Feb 9): A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has unanimously upheld the stay issued from the Seattle US District Court.  Source: The New York Times.

On September 27, 2013, hundreds, including Ilhan Issa, gathered at a solidarity rally in Minneapolis to protest terrorist attacks by Al-Shabab. (AP)

On September 27, 2013, hundreds, including Ilhan Issa, gathered at a solidarity rally in Minneapolis to protest terrorist attacks by Al-Shabab. (AP)