United States: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Injunction Against Entry Ban Executive Order
The decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals means that the Trump Administration's entry ban remains suspended. Nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can continue to apply for visas and enter the United States provided they are otherwise admissible. In a separate case, the Ninth Circuit continues to consider the government's appeal of a broader injunction against the entry ban.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has declined to reinstate an executive order that sought to suspend the entry of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to the United States. Finding that the executive order violated the First Amendment, the court rejected the Trump Administration's contention that the entry ban was justified for national security reasons. The case is International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump.
In a separate case, State of Hawaii v. Trump, the Ninth Circuit continues to consider the Trump Administration's appeal of a broader nationwide injunction against the executive order.
The Administration's March 6 travel executive order sought to prohibit nationals of the six restricted countries from entering the United States for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days, unless they qualified for an exemption or were granted a waiver. The order exempted U.S. lawful permanent residents, holders of valid U.S. visas, foreign nationals present in the United States on the effective date of the order, persons holding a valid advance parole document, dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country and certain refugees, among others. Shortly after the executive order was signed, two federal district courts issued nationwide injunctions against the travel suspensions.
What This Means for Foreign Nationals
Foreign nationals who would have been subject to the executive order remain able to apply for visas and enter the United States provided they are otherwise admissible. However, nationals of the six restricted countries should be prepared for the possibility of lengthy security checks during the visa application process and increased scrutiny at U.S. ports of entry.
The Trump Administration could seek Supreme Court review of the Fourth Circuit decision.