Immigration executive order FAQ

On June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court took two important actions regarding the March 6, 2017, Executive Order restricting travel into the United States by individuals from six Muslim-majority countries. ('Executive Order 2')

As you remember, Executive Order 2 included a 90 day bar on travel to the United States from most residents of six majority-Muslim countries. The Executive Order replaced a January 27, 2017 Executive Order (Executive Order 1) which had been successfully challenged in Court.  Executive Order 2 also was enjoined from taking effect, and the injunctions were upheld by two United States Circuit Courts.  The administration appealed the decisions to the United States Supreme Court. 

It is important that you understand what the Supreme Court did, and what it did not do, and how it affects us.

What did the Supreme Court do?

First, it partially lifted the injunctions against the travel ban.  Secondly, it agreed that it will hear the appeal.

What does it mean to say that it partly lifted the injunctions?

The Supreme Court found that the injunctions were too broad. According to the Court, Executive Order 2 may apply to individuals who 'lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.'

Um – what?

Let's say it another way.  The Court held that if someone is from one of the six affected countries, but that person has an existing connection with a person or an entity (such as a University) in the United States, the injunction is still in effect, and that person is not affected by the travel ban.

I'm still not sure what you mean.  Can you give some examples?

Most relevant, if you've been admitted to a college or University, like Wayne, the travel ban in Executive Order 2 still doesn't apply.  Other examples.

Someone with a close family relationship with someone in the United States -.for example, someone's spouse or mother in law - is not affected by the travel ban.

Someone who has a job in the United States should still be able to come. A lecturer invited to give a lecture would be allowed to come. 

So my visa is still good? 

Yes. 

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

We think that should still be possible.  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.

Should I expect any changes when I come back?

I would expect some confusion and delay. We don't yet know how this will be administered

Should I do anything different than I do now?

We suggest that when you come back to school, you carry evidence that you were admitted and have been a student here, just in case. Make sure you visit OISS to get the proper signature/documentation before you leave the country.

Why?

The Supreme Court attempted to distinguish between 'bona fide' relationships and relationships that might be created just to get around its decision.

 If you are asked about your relationship with Wayne, it will be helpful to have something with you that shows you have a 'bona fide' relationship with us. 

I notice that you haven't said whether the Supreme Court found that the Executive Order was legal or not?

That's because the Court hasn't yet made a decision on that.  The Supreme Court said it will hear arguments on that during its October term.  We should know something more definite late 2017 or early 2018.

I heard someone say that this decision was a big victory for the Trump administration. 

It's a little early for that.  The administration did win some things:

  • The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.  It could have decided not to do so, and so left the injunctions in place.
  • The Supreme Court narrowed the application of the injunction.   It didn't have to do that. .

But the big questions will not be answered for some months to come.