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U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING ON MUSLIM BAN 3.0: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

On June 26, 2018 the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in support of Trump’s bigoted Muslim Ban. This is bad but we will keep fighting. It’s more important than ever to know your rights despite this decision. Since December 4, 2017, the Muslim Ban has been in full effect for certain individuals from: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. All are facing difficulty in their applications for visas to be united with family, study in the U.S., get medical treatment, or visit for tourism.

In this advisory we cover the current status of the Muslim Ban, who is impacted, as well as information about the so-called waiver process. Please note that this information is subject to change based on the various legal challenges. We will update you should changes happen.

Timing

The Supreme Court allowed Muslim Ban 3.0 to go into effect on December 4, 2017. On June 26, 2018 the Supreme Court issued a decision allowing the Muslim Ban to remain in effect.

Who Is Impacted?

Certain nationals of seven countries – Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Muslim Ban 3.0 only applies to individuals who are:

Outside of the U.S. on the effective date,

Who did not have a valid visa on that date, and

Who have not obtained a waiver (discussed below).

Muslim Ban 3.0 Does NOT Apply To:

U.S. Lawful permanent residents (green card holders);

People admitted or paroled into the U.S. on or after the effective date of the new Muslim Ban;

People with a document other than a visa that allows them to travel to the U.S., if the document is dated on or after the effective date of the new Muslim Ban;

Dual-nationals traveling on a passport from a non-designated country;

People who have been granted asylum by the U.S.;

Refugees already admitted to the U.S.; or

Individuals granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention against Torture.

Unlike past decisions, this decision does NOT allow for an exception for “Bona Fide Relationships” (i.e. close family ties such as a parent, spouse, child, sister, brother, fiancé(e), etc.)

Details on Impacted Countries

Iran

All immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are suspended for Iranian nationals except for those with F, J, or M visas.

Those with F, J, or M visas will most likely be subject to heightened screening.

Libya

All immigrants and nonimmigrant visas, including business (B-1), tourist (B-2), business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended for Libyan nationals.

Somalia

All immigrant visas are suspended for Somali nationals.

Non-immigrant visas are permitted, subjected to heightened screening.

Syria

All immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for for Syrian nationals are suspended.

Yemen

All immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, including business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended for Yemeni nationals.

North Korea

All immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are suspended for North Korean nationals

Venezuela

Visa issuance for officials of government agencies of Venezuela involved in screening and vetting procedures and their immediate family members, as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is suspended. Additionally, nationals of Venezuela who are visa holders are subject to heightened screening.

Venezuelans traveling on diplomatic visas are not affected by this order.

Waivers Seeking an Exception to Muslim Ban 3.0

A “waiver” is permission to obtain a U.S. visa, even though the Muslim Ban says you are not eligible to get one. Muslim Ban 3.0 states that banned individuals can ask for a waiver to request an exception that would allow the visa to be issued as long as they can show that:

Denying entry would cause the visa applicant undue hardship;

Entry to the U.S. would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the U.S.; and

Entry would be in the national interest of the U.S.

The law states that a consular officer or Customs and Border Protection official has the authority to grant a waiver on a case-by-case-basis. The law also lists several examples where a waiver can be granted (such as needing urgent medical care, reuniting with immediate family members in the U.S., business ties etc.).

Unfortunately the waiver process has been very unclear and applied unevenly. The government has provided very little guidance on the waiver process. Here are some trends we have seen:

There is no formal process to request a waiver. There is no available form online to fill out. Any documents submitted to the consulate outlining why you qualify for a waiver may or may not be accepted.

Many consulates have been notifying individuals that either:

The consulate is denying the waiver for their case, stating that the visa is “refused under 212(f)”:

In this case, there is no appeal process for the decision. Many individuals are submitting waiver requests, however, it is unclear if they are being accepted.

The consulate is considering their case for a waiver:

In this case, the consulate may or may not ask you about the above criteria in the interview; the consulate may or may not accept a written letter outlining why you meet the above criteria either during your interview or if you try to email/mail it in; the consulate may or may not refer your case to Washington D.C.

If you have an upcoming interview before a consulate please seek legal advice about the waiver process.

As of May 15, 2018, 655 waivers have been confirmed to have been granted since the Ban went into effect. At this point it is very unclear how these cases will be processed and what the next step is until the government issues more guidance. Information around waivers can change very quickly, so seek legal help (while watching out for scams) and please check back frequently.

How to Get Legal Help

Contact CAIR-NJ if:

You or someone you know is impacted by this Muslim Ban and would like free legal advice or assistance;

Your community would like to request a “Know Your Rights” presentation.

CAIR New Jersey:

908-668-5900 or http://nj.cair.com/your-rights/report-an-incident.html

CAIR New Jersey Annual Banquet

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We are pleased to announce CAIR New Jersey's 12th annual banquet to be held on February 10, 2018! You won't want to miss this special event   featuring Linda Sarsour, Khizr Khan, and other great speakers.

Doors open at 5:30 pm for maghrib prayer and registration begins at 6:00 pm.

 

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Community Advisory: What You Should Know about Muslim Ban 3.0

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September 25, 2017

Dear Community Members,

Muslim Ban 3.0 (“MB-3”) was signed yesterday afternoon. We are reviewing it to see how exactly it will be rolled out, but some general information based on what we know now is included below. Please note that this information is subject to change based on the various legal challenges that may be advanced in court. Please check back frequently for the most up-to-date information.

Timing

Part of MB-3 went into effect yesterday, September 24th. The remainder will go into effect on October 18th, 2017. Much of the old order (Muslim Ban 2.0), signed on March 6, 2017, also partially expires today. The portions of Muslim Ban 2.0 impacting refugees specifically will continue until October 24, 2017. Despite this change, the temporary court order placing the old order on hold is still active, until the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing on October 10, 2017.

Who Will Be Impacted?

Travel Restriction for Nationals of Eight Countries - Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Venezuela, Syria, and Yemen

  • General limitations
    • MB-3 only applies to individuals who are i) outside of the U.S. on the day MB-3 goes into effect, and ii) who do not have a valid visa on the day MB-3 goes into effect, and iii) who have not obtained a waiver under Section 3(c).
    • MB-3 does not apply to:
      • Lawful permanent residents (green card holders);
      • Individuals admitted or paroled into the U.S. on or after the effective date of MB-3;
      • Those with a document other than a visa that allows them to travel to the U.S., if the document is dated on or after the effective date of MB-3;
      • Dual-nationals traveling on a passport from a non-designated country;
      • Individuals granted asylum;
      • Refugees already admitted to the U.S.; or
      • Individuals granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention against Torture
  • Until October 18, 2017, Citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen are exempt from MB-3 if they have a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity, meaning:
    • A close family member living in the U.S.,
    • An offer of employment in the U.S., and/or
    • An admission to study in the U.S.

 Previously-impacted countries - restrictions effective immediately:

  • Iran
    • Effective immediately, immigrant and nonimmigrant entry are suspended for Iranian nationals except for those with a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity OR for those with F, J, or M visas.
    • Those with F, J, or M visas will most likely be subject to “enhanced screening and vetting requirements.”
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Libya
    • Effective immediately, immigrants and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended except those with a bona fide relationship to the U.S.
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Somalia
    • Effective immediately, immigrant visas are suspended for Somali nationals, except for those with a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity.
    • Non-immigrant visas are permitted, subjected to heightened screening.
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Syria
    • Effective immediately, immigrant and nonimmigrant entry is suspended for Syrian nationals, except for those with a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity.
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Sudan
    • Sudan was removed from the list of restricted countries in MB-3.
    • Sudanese visa holders who were impacted by earlier Muslim Bans should now be able to reapply for visa.
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Yemen
    • Effective immediately, all immigrant visas and nonimmigrant business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended, unless the visa holder has a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity.
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.

 Newly Impacted Countries

  • Chad
    • Effective October 18, 2017, all immigrant visas and with nonimmigrant business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended from entering the U.S.
  • North Korea
    • Effective October 18, 2017, all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders are suspended from entering the U.S.
  • Venezuela
    • Effective October 18, 2017, the entry of officials of government agencies of Venezuela involved in screening and vetting procedures and their immediate family members, as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is suspended. Additionally, nationals of Venezuela who are visa holders are subject to additional measures.
    • Per Section 3(b)(v) of MB-3, certain Venezuelans traveling on diplomatic visas are not affected by this order.

Refugee Program

  • No changes were made in today’s order that impact refugees.
  • There continues to be a 120-day halt of the entire refugee program, which started on March 16, 2017.
  • Refugees with a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity are exempt from the ban.
  • Currently, a formal assurance from a refugee resettlement agency is insufficient on its own to establish a bona fide relationship.  This matter is under appeal.
  •  The number of refugees to be admitted to the U.S. for fiscal year 2017 is reduced to 50,000.

How to Get Legal Help?

You can contact our organizations if:

  • You or someone you know is impacted by this executive order and would like legal advice or assistance;
  • Your community would like to request a “Know Your Rights” presentation.

CAIR New Jersey: 908-668-5900

We remain committed to challenging this Ban and protecting the communities we serve. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Jay Rehman

CAIR New Jeresy

Civil Rights Attorney

 Graphical Overview of Muslim Ban 3.0

 

Travel Advisory

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States allowed parts of President Trump's Muslim Ban to take effect on a temporary basis, while blocking other parts of the Ban. The Supreme Court plans to make a final decision about the case later this year.

In the meantime, here's what you need to know about how this development may impact you, your family, your education or your business in regard to the six targeted countries: Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Libya, and Yemen.

1.The Potential Good News 

The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration MUST ALLOW foreign nationals from these countries to seek entry to the United States if they have a "credible claim" of a "bona fide" connection to the United States. What does that mean? 

If you are legally present in the United Sates, you can seek to bring your "close" relatives who live overseas to the United States. If you run an American school or university, you can bring a foreign student to the United States. If you run an American business, you can bring a foreign worker to the United States.

2. The Potential Bad News 

The Court has allowed the Trump Administration to BAN foreign nationals from the six targeted countries who have "no credible claim of a bona fide connection" to persons or entities in the United States. This part of the ruling leaves many questions unanswered.

For example, a legal resident of America can certainly expect to bring a spouse, parent or child to the United States. What about a brother, a cousin, or an aunt? What constitutes a legitimate and sufficiently close familial relationship? 

The answer to this question would be determined on a case-by-case basis by immigration officials under the control President Trump. If a family disagrees with a decision made by the Trump Administration, the family may have to pursue legal action against the government.

What about the travelers from the six countries who are scheduled to fly into the United States in the coming days and weeks? Immigration officials may detain or block those travelers while the Trump Administration reviews whether they do indeed have a legitimate and close connection to the United States.

As for refugees, the Supreme Court's order effectively bans any future refugees who do not already have relatives living in the United States. The Supreme Court's order also puts a question mark over refugees who are already in the process of coming to the United States.

3. What Should You Do Now? 

  • If you are in the process of, or hope to, bring a family member, student, worker or refugee from one of the six targeted countries, consult with us, an immigration attorney, or another civil rights organization.
  • If a relative, student, worker or refugee is currently en route to the United States, immediately alert us, an immigration attorney or another civil rights organization. Although the executive order may not take effect for another 72 hours, the Trump Administration may try to enforce it early.
  • If you are a citizen of the six targeted countries and you live in the United States as a permanent resident or a student or worker on a visa, you should, in theory, be able to travel in and out of the United States. 

However, in practice, you may face delays or worse if you leave the country and attempt to return. We recommend you consult with an immigration attorney before leaving the United States. We also recommend that, if possible, you stay in the United States until the Supreme Court issues its final ruling, which may happen late this year or early next year.

4. What CAIR New Jersey And Other Organizations Plan To Do

Please contact us if you experience any difficulty, or have any questions, about these developments. CAIR New Jersey is willing to assist you. 

Finally, please know that the case is not over yet. CAIR and many other organizations plan to continue fighting the Muslim Ban in both the court of law and the court of public opinion. This is critical, for the Supreme Court has apparently missed the broader point. 

If President Trump's Muslim Ban was indeed motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry, then absolutely no part of it is acceptable for any amount of time.

  

 
 

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