Immigration executive order FAQ

On June 26, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision upholding the Trump administration's 'Proclamation restricting travel to the United States.  The Proclamation, which was issued at the end of September, replaced the previous Executive Order, which was issued in March, 2017 and which expired on September 24, 2017.

Lawsuits were brought arguing that parts of the proclamation are unlawful, and two different courts enjoined it from taking effect. The Trump administration appealed the outcomes.  Last December, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing the travel ban to be implemented while the appeal was under way.  Today's ruling means that the case is now over, and Trump administration's proclamation will remain in effect.

While this is an important ruling, it is important to know that it has no immediate effect on any current student or scholar.  No member of the Wayne community has had his or her rights changed today, and Wayne's position remains unchanged.

We thought it would be helpful to touch on some of the questions this Supreme Court decision will raise.

First, remind me what the Proclamation does?

The Proclamation replaced the travel bans.  Unlike the travel bans, it lasts indefinitely. 

  • Syria and North Korea. Entry into the United States from Syria and North Korea has been suspended indefinitely.
  • Iran.  Most entry from Iran is suspended.  Individuals with valid F,M, and J visas are not suspended, but individuals will face 'enhanced screening and vetting'
  • Libya, and Yemen.  Applies to individuals on business and tourist visas (B-1, B-2, or B-1/B-2 visas.
  • Somalia.  The Proclamation states that visa applications from Somalia are to be subject to additional scrutiny to look for connections to terrorist organizations, or for criminal links.
  • Venezuela.  Officials of certain Venezuelan government agencies and their immediate family members may not enter on business or tourist visas.

What did the Supreme Court do?

Essentially, the majority of the Supreme Court accepted the Trump administration's argument.  Because the administration had stated a facially plausible reason for the travel ban (protecting the national security of the United States) the majority of the Supreme Court deferred to the administration.

You said 'the majority of the Supreme Court.' Does that mean that not everyone agreed?

Yes.  Five of the nine Justices agreed.  In addition, there was a concurring opinion (a concurring opinion agrees with the result but for a different reason) and two different dissenting opinions (opinions disagreeing with the result).  It gets a little complicated, but it's fair to say it was a 5-4 decision.

Does that mean the case is over?

Yes.  The four Justices who disagreed did so strenuously, but it is majority rule.

What does it mean to me?

If you are here on a student visa, it doesn't change anything. Except for Syria and North Korea, the Proclamation doesn't specifically restrict student visas. 

So my student visa is still good? 

Yes. 

I'm from Syria, and I am here on a valid student visa.  Any special advice for me?

If you can possibly avoid it, don't leave the country. It's very likely that if you're from Syria you won't be able to get back, even if you have a valid student visa.

Will they try to terminate my student visa, even if I don't leave the country?

We don't think so.  But we think the visa would not be renewed.

I'm from one of the other countries mentioned in the Proclamation.  Should I do anything?

If you leave the country, you should carry evidence that you were admitted to and enrolled at Wayne State and are a student here. Make sure you visit OISS to get the proper signature/documentation before you leave the country. You will need your visa, of course.

What about somebody who wants to attend Wayne but isn't yet admitted?

We think that should still be possible (except someone traveling on a Syrian or North Korean passport), although the person may face more intensive screening.  The person still needs to complete the application process and be admitted and will need to have his or her I-20 to get a visa, of course, but that's always been the rule.

The Travel Ban had several exceptions.  Are they still in place? 

Yes.  The Proclamation won't affect someone who has permanent residency status, or someone with dual citizenship traveling on a passport from a country not mentioned in the Proclamation, or someone with an approved advance parole authorizing travel to and from the United States. There are also provisions for case by case waivers.

How do the waivers work?

If you have a student visa, you won't need a waiver.  Waivers are to be granted on a case by case basis – there is no right to a waiverUnder the Proclamation, a waiver may be granted to someone who isn't otherwise eligible for entry, but who demonstrates to the satisfaction of Customs and Border Patrol that

  • Denying the waiver would cause undue hardship; and
  • Entry would not pose a threat to security or public safety of the United States; and
  • Entry would be in the national interest.

I had hoped to stay in the United States after I finish my education.  Will that be possible?

It will depend on what country you live in, and perhaps when you graduate and whether the Proclamation still is in effect at the time.  Right now, it is unlikely. You will want to talk with an immigration attorney.

What happens next?

We don't know. The reasoning in the Supreme Court's majority opinion leaves open the possibility that the Trump administration might decide to change which countries and which visas are affected. If there are changes, we will let you know as soon as we can.