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The New Executive Order: What Immigrants Should Do in Response

The New Executive Order: What Immigrants Should Do in Response

By: Avalos & Associates, P.C.

On March 6th, the current U.S. president released a revised edition of Executive Order (EO) 13769, or Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. The first version was so highly controversial it triggered protests all over the world. One judge in the state of Washington, Judge James Robart, put a temporary, nationwide restraining order on the EO.

The revised version, EO 13780, rescinded the last order but made very few changes. Iraq is the only country exempted from the 90-day travel ban imposed on the original 7 countries. Now, only Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are excluded from entering the United States. Legal permanent residents and people who currently have visas are also safe from the EO. Also, while the first order specified non-Muslim refugees would be given priority, that section was omitted in the second. In addition, the EO does the following:

  • Suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days
  • Restricts admission/halts new visa applications from the targeted countries for 90 days
  • Orders a list of countries for entry restrictions after 90 days

A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report was leaked in late February, which stated that few people from the banned countries have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the United States since 9/11. Hawaii has already brought a civil action suit against the EO, asserting that the order is nothing more than a poorly concealed Muslim ban and is unconstitutional. If Hawaii’s challenge is successful, it will block the restrictions, which are set to go into effect on March 16th.

Power of Attorney

If Hawaii’s suit is unsuccessful, many immigrants in the banned countries could be prevented from reuniting with their families in the United States. If this happens, they need to be prepared. Immigrants who can’t act on their own behalf in the United States can appoint a power of attorney. A person granted this power would be imbued with authority to act on your behalf in regard to the care and wellbeing of your family and your property. If you give someone power of attorney, they will be there to ensure your children aren’t sent into foster care, and your property isn’t confiscated. Your appointed person can also access your bank accounts and legal records so you can receive financial and legal support.

Be prepared. A decision on the newest executive order has not yet been issued, but other immigration-targeted orders will likely follow. It’s clear the current administration has made immigrants the scapegoat for many unrelated U.S. problems. Don’t let yourself become a victim. Call one of our Richmond immigration lawyers for advice on how to grant power of attorney. You can reach us at (832) 462-7530 or fill out our online form for a case consultation.