ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page


Immigration Daily

Archives

Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board

Resources

Blogs

Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation

Attorney2Attorney

CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network

EB-5

移民日报

About ILW.COM

Connect to us

Make us Homepage

Questions/Comments


SUBSCRIBE

Immigration Daily


Chinese Immig. Daily




The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
Copyright
© 1995-
ILW.COM,
American
Immigration LLC.

View RSS Feed

Jason Dzubow on Political Asylum

The New Travel Ban, Asylum Seekers, and I-730 Petitions

Rate this Entry
As you might have heard, the White House recently issued a new travel ban (official known as the Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats), and this one looks more likely to survive a court challenge than previous bans. This time around, the "banned" countries are Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and certain government officials from Venezuela.


Moose limb ban.

Here I want to look at how the ban will impact asylum seekers, asylees (people who already have asylum), and I-730 petitions, which are petitions filed by asylees to bring their relatives (spouse and minor, unmarried children) to the United States. One caveat: Even though the latest travel ban seems more well-crafted than prior iterations, it likely will still be subject to court challenges, and it will have to be interpreted and implemented by various government agencies, so how individuals will actually be affected is not yet entirely clear. With that out of the way, here's how things look now:

Asylum Seekers

The short answer here is that asylum seekers who are already in the U.S. should not be affected by the new ban. Section 6(e) provides--

Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture, consistent with the laws of the United States.

Also, it appears that asylum seekers who want to travel while their cases are pending, using Advance Parole, should be able to do so. Section 3(b) states--

The suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this proclamation shall not apply to... any foreign national who has a document other than a visa -- such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document -- valid on the applicable effective date under section 7 of this proclamation [all bars will be in effect by October 18, 2017] or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.

The original travel ban (from January 2017) was intended to impact asylum seekers. Basically, USCIS was directed to adjudicate their cases up until the decision, but to hold the decision until the ban was lifted. That never actually went into effect. This new ban, which is more carefully tailored, does not seem to impose any restrictions or limitations on the asylum process or on asylum seekers, and so we can expect that such cases will proceed as before.

Asylees

People who have been granted asylum are asylees. I see nothing in the proclamation that would inhibit asylees' rights in the U.S. They should be able to work, travel (using an appropriate travel document), and eventually get their green card and their U.S. citizenship as before.

I-730 Petitions

When a person is granted asylum, she can file to bring her spouse and minor, unmarried children to the United States using a form I-730. Whether people from the banned countries will still be able to bring their "following to join" family members here may be problematic, at least as I read the President's order. Section 3(a) states--

[S]uspensions of and limitations on entry… shall apply only to foreign nationals of the designated countries who: (i) are outside the United States on the applicable effective date under section 7 of this proclamation; (ii) do not have a valid visa on the applicable effective date under section 7 of this proclamation; and (iii) do not qualify for a visa or other valid travel document under section 6(d) of this proclamation [certain individuals whose visas were marked revoked or canceled by the first travel ban].

Basically, this means that people outside the U.S. from a "banned" country cannot get a visa to come here. There are some exceptions to this rule in section 3(b), but none of them seem to apply to I-730 beneficiaries. The closest I can see to an exception for following-to-join asylees appears in section 3(b)(vi)--

The suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this proclamation shall not apply to... any foreign national who has been granted asylum by the United States; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States; or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

Perhaps I-730 beneficiaries can argue that they fall within this exception, but frankly, I don't see it. If these beneficiaries do not meet an exception, they can apply for a waiver to allow them to join their asylee relative in the U.S., even though they are banned from coming here. The waiver process, discussed in section 6(c), seems complex, but the short answer is that waivers are granted in the discretion of the consular officer or other government official and are issued on a case-by-case basis. Further--

A waiver may be granted only if a foreign national demonstrates to the consular officer's or CBP official's satisfaction that: (A) denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship; (B) entry would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States; and (C) entry would be in the national interest.

The proclamation gives some examples of when a waiver might be appropriate, including where the "foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States" or where "the foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship." None of the examples specifically refers to asylees or I-730 beneficiaries, and so there is an open question about whether such people are able to join their asylee family members in the United States.

We will have to see how the Trump Administration implements the ban with regards to I-730s. Hopefully, such people will be allowed to join their family members in the U.S. If not, you can bet that the matter will be litigated in court, and I imagine that the asylees would have a strong case. The United States has ratified the Protocol on the Status of Refugees, and so that treaty has the force and effect of law. The Protocol (and the Refugee Convention that is incorporated into the Protocol) essentially commits treaty countries to ensure family unity for refugees. See also INA 208(b). A Presidential proclamation cannot nullify this law, and so any attempt by the Trump Administration to block following-to-join relatives will likely not succeed, though of course the Administration can throw obstacles in the way of such people and cause plenty of hardship, stress, and uncertainty for this already-vulnerable group of individuals.

So there you have it. Again, we will have to wait to see how the new ban is implemented and whether it will be affected by litigation. Hopefully, my concerns about I-730 beneficiaries will not come to pass, and asylum seekers, asylees, and their family members will not be harmed by the latest travel ban.

Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.

Submit "The New Travel Ban, Asylum Seekers, and I-730 Petitions" to Facebook Submit "The New Travel Ban, Asylum Seekers, and I-730 Petitions" to Twitter Submit "The New Travel Ban, Asylum Seekers, and I-730 Petitions" to Google Submit "The New Travel Ban, Asylum Seekers, and I-730 Petitions" to StumbleUpon Submit "The New Travel Ban, Asylum Seekers, and I-730 Petitions" to Reddit Submit "The New Travel Ban, Asylum Seekers, and I-730 Petitions" to Digg Submit "The New Travel Ban, Asylum Seekers, and I-730 Petitions" to del.icio.us

Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    There is not the slightest reason to believe that the new Muslim ban is any less motivated by the white supremacist ideology and religious discrimination at the basis of the Trump administration's immigration agenda than the earlier versions of this ban were. The basic premise of this administration is that if an immigrant does not come from Europe, he or she should be presumed to be a criminal, a terrorist, someone who will lake jobs away from American workers, or if not working, will be a drain on America's economy or public assistance system, and is therefore undesirable and unwelcome in this Nation of White Immigrants.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  2. JDzubow's Avatar
    I agree, Roger. And if you look at the numbers, it supports that idea - North Korea sent less than 70 people to the US last year, and the Venezuela "ban" covers only a very small number of people affiliated with the government. The other countries are majority Muslim. Take care, Jason
Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: