Monday, February 13, 2017

PRES. TRUMP'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS: FACT OR FICTION

There are a lot of rumors surrounding President Trump's Executive Orders.  Below is MU Law's list of Facts and Fictions.  Please note that this list is as of this morning, but that things are changing quickly.

FACT: In late January, President Trump issued an Executive Order banning entry to the US for individuals from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya.  The travel ban included all individuals from the seven listed countries holding a US visa, but did not include green card holders or dual nationals.

FICTION: President Trump is planning to add countries to the list in the travel ban.  On February 3, 2017, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued a statement indicating the US Department of State had contacted AILA and said that there was no plan to add to the list of banned countries.

FACT: On Friday, February 3, 2017, a Federal Judge in the state of Washington issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) stopping the enforcement of the travel ban.  The US Department of State reinstated previously cancelled visas allowing individuals from the banned countries to travel to the US.

FICTION: The travel ban has been struck down and will not be reinstated.  The TRO issued by the Judge is temporary and lasts only while the case against the travel ban is going through the court system.  Many Federal Judges have been issuing rulings on the travel ban and these rulings conflict with each other.  It is unknown whether the case will go before the US Supreme Court or whether the President will issue a revised Executive Order.

FACT: President Trump may change the way the H-1B cap cases are allocated.  The President, by Executive Order, can change the manner in which the H-1B cap works from a straight lottery to a preference system.  Should this change take place, it is likely that the preference system would favor those with advanced degrees, higher wages, and shortage skills.

FICTION: President Trump is planning to or has already eliminated H-1Bs visas.  The President, on his own, cannot cancel the H-1B visa program.  H-1Bs were created by an Act of Congress and it would take an Act of Congress to cancel H-1Bs completely. 

FACT: There will likely be greater requirements for H-1B employers.  Most recent proposals from Congressional Representatives and from the President include additional burdens and restrictions on H-1B employers.  These restrictions include: paying higher wages to H-1B employees, documenting the employer has tried to recruit US workers before filing the H-1B, more site visits, and expansion of e-verify.

FICTION: President Trump has eliminated the H-4 EAD.  The H-4 EAD program was created in a regulation.  At this time, the President has made no formal indication that he plans to rescind the H-4 EAD regulations.

FACT: President Trump may be planning to cancel DACA, the program allowing undocumented immigrants, brought to the US as children, to obtain a stay of deportation and work authorization.  DACA was created by an Executive Order of President Obama.  A draft Executive Order of President Trump eliminating DACA has been circulated.  At this time, DACA remains in effect.  

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