“Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” is expected to be the next Executive Order on immigration from the Trump Administration. This Order is intended to “protect the American people from terrorist attacks” and “ensure that those admitted into our country do not bear hostile attitudes toward our country and its founding principles.”

The Order likely will:

  • Block Syrian refugees from entering the United States for an indefinite period until the President lifts the ban while creating safe zones in Syria to house those awaiting resettlement.
  • Bar other refugees for at least 120 days while the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 2017 is reviewed and new vetting procedures are in place.
  • Prioritize claims of religious minorities suffering from persecution (essentially prioritizing claims by non-Muslims).
  • Reduce the overall number of refugees admitted in 2017 to 50,000 (below that proposed by the Obama Administration).
  • Suspend entries and the issuance of visas for at least 30 days from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen while the government reviews its screening processes.
  • Suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program that allows returning nonimmigrants to extend their visas without appearing for in-person interviews at Consulates abroad.
  • Expedite the completion of a biometric entry-exit tracking system to enable better tracking of foreign nationals in the United States and prevent overstays.
  • Collect and make public information on the number of foreign-born individuals who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses, who have been “radicalized” after entry and engaged in terrorism-related acts, and who have committed gender-based violence against women or “honor killings.”

During the contemplated suspension periods, the Order would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to determine what information is needed from applicants’ countries of origin to ascertain whether those foreign nationals would pose a threat to the United States. Further, the Order would direct that foreign nationals from countries that refuse to comply would be prohibited from entry until their country of origin does comply.