Based on what we know of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order, and its application in recent days, here is a guide for those traveling in the coming days and weeks.
The Executive Order highlighted 7 countries: Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. If you were not born in or are not a citizen of one of these 7 countries, the Executive Order should not impact you.
The Executive Order created 3 potential outcomes regarding travel to the U.S. for current/former citizens of these 7 countries:
- Permission to travel to and entry to the U.S.;
- Permission to travel to the U.S., but may be subject to questioning on arrival; or
- Not permitted to travel to the U.S.
Which of these 3 outcomes you can expect depends on your nationality and legal status
within the U.S.:
Please be aware that where an adult is accompanied by a minor, and the adult is stopped or questioned, the minor will have to remain with the adult regardless of the status of the minor, including if the minor is a U.S. citizen.
If you are questioned by or detained by immigration officers, do not panic. The practice of questioning by immigration officers has been in place for years, happens every day, and can happen to anyone of any visa status. Remain calm, and cooperate with the officer(s); though, under no circumstances should you sign a form I-407. To put yourself in the best position:
- Have ALL your travel documentation in order and with you (not at home in a drawer or in your checked luggage).
- The use of phones for any purpose (calls/texts/email/Twitter/Facebook/etc.) is prohibited from when you enter the Immigration & Customs hall until you exit the secure area. Therefore, prior to take-off in your departure location, notify whoever may be meeting you upon arrival that you have boarded the plane. Also, if you have service, and prior to shutting down your phone and entering the Immigration hall, notify them of your arrival in the U.S. This way, if you fail to exit in a reasonable time, someone will be aware of your detention and can raise the matter with appropriate personnel. The following may be helpful for them in assisting you if you are detained:Online detainee locator: https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.doInformation about detainees: https://www.ice.gov/contact/ero
To source free legal advice:
Emerald Isle Immigration Center: (718) 478-5502 (www.eiic.org)
New York Immigration Coalition (212) 627-2227 (www.thenyic.org)
International Refugee Assistance Project firstname.lastname@example.org (www.refugeerights.org)
We will continue to monitor the situation and will modify this guide as new developments come to light.