Seyfarth Synopsis: Immediate Stay of Trump’s Executive Order has been denied and travel ban remains halted for now.

On Friday, February 3, a Federal District Court in Washington issued a temporary restraining order (TRO), which prohibits the federal government from enforcing President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order that suspended travel to the United States for certain foreign nationals. This TRO took effect immediately and is in effect nation-wide. At present, any foreign national who was impacted by the travel ban can be admitted to the United States. However, this situation remains fluid and can change any day.

Background

On Friday, January 27, President Trump signed an Executive Order which suspended travel into the United States for nationals from certain designated countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This suspension in travel took effect immediately, and was to be in place for at least 90 days. More information on the Executive Order can be found in Seyfarth's original alert and our updated alert.

Impact of TRO

The TRO has the following impact:

  • Government agencies are prohibited from enforcing the Executive Order. Unlike prior TROs which were limited in geographic scope, the TRO from the Federal District Court in Washington is in effect nation-wide.
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Ports of Entry must begin inspecting for admission any foreign national who has a valid visa or green card and who was impacted by the travel ban. Please note, these individuals still may face lengthy questioning and potential delays when being inspected by CBP for admission.
  • Airlines have been instructed that any foreign national with a valid visa or green card who was impacted by the travel ban should be allowed to board flights to the United States.
  • The Department of State (DOS) announced that it has reversed its previous revocation of visas from foreign nationals from the impacted countries. Therefore, any foreign national who was impacted by the travel ban can use their existing visa to be admitted to the United States as long as the visa has not been stamped or marked as “canceled.”
  • Foreign nationals who were banned from entering the United States based on the January 27 Executive order should make immediate plans to travel if they wish to return to the United States. The current situation could change any day.
  • Those foreign nationals who are impacted by the travel ban are advised to remain in the U.S. due to the potential for further changes to enforcement of the Executive Order.

Response from Trump Administration

On Saturday, February 4, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an appeal to the Federal Court of Appeals, requesting that the TRO be overturned and that the Executive Order be reinstated. On Sunday, February 5, the Court of Appeals denied the DOJ’s immediate request. However, parties to the TRO were instructed to file arguments on Monday, February 6, and the Court of Appeals is likely to make a further ruling early this week.

This has been a tumultuous week for those impacted by the January 27 Executive Order. The situation may change again this week. Seyfarth Shaw will continue to keep our clients informed on further developments.