Author: Jim Hacking

Yes, undocumented immigrants do indeed pay taxes


In the United States, there are numerous lies, untruths and falsehoods spread by those that dislike immigrants.
One of the favorite arguments made by those who oppose immigration is that undocumented immigrants (so-called “illegals”) is that because they are here without authorization, they aren’t working, they aren’t paying taxes and they are just living off the government dole.

Fact: undocumented immigrants pay billions – billions with a B – in income taxes every year.

How is this possible?

Turns out the IRS wants to get everyone’s taxes – both citizens and non-citizens alike.  So they have a procedure to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number, to have their taxes withheld from their wages and to file tax returns every year.

Surprised?

Apparently, some Americans are woefully misinformed on this issue as evidenced by a recent brouhaha that erupted on social media this weekend.

Belen Sisa is an undocumented immigrant.  She currently is the beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program put in place by President Obama.  This means that she is allowed to remain in the U.S., to study and to work.  Sisa came to the U.S. many years ago with her parents and never returned to Argentina.

Last weekend, she posted a photo on her personal Facebook page.  The photo was of her sitting with a blank tax return and mentioned that she had just completed her taxes.

Then all hell broke loose.

Sisa found herself deluged by haters who called her a liar and a tax cheat.  Some folks messaged her to say that they had reported her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for filing a false tax return.

Here are some of the nice quotes that Ms. Sisa received:

  • “You’re disgusting and I hope that you and your family will be sent back to the lesser country that your ancestors built.”
  • “Whose social are you using? Your face/clothes/car seems to be contrary to u needing assistance girl.”
  • “If you are a foreign invader you will be investigated and picked up I will see to it myself. Who am I you may ask? I’m your biggest nightmare … I am a governor hopeful and putting your deportation on my resume is going to look great on my accolades.”

Sisa’s post has been shared more than 2,600 times.

People are behaving horribly when it comes to immigrants these days.  This is another example of horribly misguided attacks on people who are following the law.  The haters need to relax and mind their own business.

Trump Administration Ramps Up Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

President Donald J. Trump has had a sting of failures since taking office.

His initial Muslim ban, launched on a Friday afternoon with no warning, led to a ridiculous series of immigrants being turned away at U.S. Airports.  Numerous protests followed.

The President and his Republican allies in Congress failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, despite Trump’s promise to tackle the issue on his first day in office.  The GOP has been promising to repeal and replace the ACA since it went into effect 7 years ago.

The President’s approval ratings are in the toilet.

So he appears to be doubling-down on his efforts to vilify immigrants, painting the millions of immigrants in the U.S. as rapists and thugs.

Last week, the President’s team announced plans to publish a registry of crimes committed by immigrants.

According to the Washington Post:

“Administration officials said the strategy is intended to reframe the political debate over immigration reform from what they view as a misplaced emphasis on the well-being of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants to the negative impacts their presence can have on local communities.”

President Trump brought the spouses of two Americans killed by immigrants to his address to Congress last month.  He has directed the Department of Justice to highlight crimes committed by immigrants when releasing annual crime statistics.

It is easy to see what is going on.

A President who lost the popular election by 3 million votes, who is wildly unpopular with numbers at historic lows for any President and who does not know how to govern has decided to continue his virulent, hateful and dishonest characterization of immigrants as criminals.

There is a word for this.

The word is scapegoating.

Federal statistics make crystal clear the fact that immigrants commit LESS crimes than the native born.  This is true even for undocumented immigrants.  So the President’s clarion call is a false one.

Alternative facts, one might argue.

Instead of being a leader for all Americans, Trump has decided to play to stereotypes, hatred and fear.

This has worked for politicians in the past.  It may work in America in 2017 as well.

Hopefully, not.  Hopefully, the President will tone down the rhetoric and recognize the amazing work that immigrants from around the world are performing every day in the United States.

From our perspective, we will be sure to scrutinize the President’s actions and report on the regularly and honestly.

Kansas City Schools Tell ICE to Get a Warrant


The Kansas City School Board voted last week to require Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain a warrant before entering school premises.

The Board is concerned that ICE activities at city schools would lead to fear and distrust with their immigrant students.

ICE claims that they have a “sensitive spaces” policy, but our office routinely hears of instances where such policies are disregarded.

Agents of ICE have been known to go to extreme measures in tracking down and arresting undocumented immigrants, often in front of their children.

KC Public Schools decided to adopt a Welcoming Schools policy that prohibits ICE officers from entering school properties or buses without a warrant.

An ICE spokesperson commented after the school board vote that “ICE’s policies preclude law enforcement operations or actions at sensitive locations such as schools, churches” and other sensitive locations, according to the Kansas City Star.  ICE reportedly only engages in enforcement at those facilities with prior approval from a supervisor or existent circumstances.  

This is where the sensitive spaces policy loses steam.  ICE simply gets a supervisor to sign off on the raid or later claims that an emergency situation arose, thereby requiring them to enter the sensitive space.

The School Board acted after finding that ICE enforcement at schools or on buses “significantly disrupt the school environment, interrupt learning, impede the safety and security of the school environment, and infringe on students’ rights to free access to public education.”

With the election of Donald Trump and his appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, immigrants around the country are increasingly nervous of enforcement.  Specifically, they worry about ICE overreach and the increase in raids promised by immigration hardliners.

Despite the fact that Barack Obama’s administration deported more immigrants than any President in United States History is often ignored in the immigration debate.  

President Trump has made the scapegoating of immigrants a central theme of his administration, going so far as to create a list of alleged crimes committed by immigrants.

U.S. Army Veteran to be Deported

Miguel Perez is not a U.S. Citizen.

His two children are.

Despite this, he is scheduled to be deported due to a conviction for selling drugs.

Perez served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

He enlisted for not one, but two, tours.  According to his family, Perez “was blown out of his Jeep in Kandahar” and suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the blast.

He suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He started self-medicating with alcohol and he then turned to drugs.  That led to the selling of drugs.

Sadly, he had the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen after serving in the Army, but he didn’t understand how the process worked.  He thought that simply serving in the military resulted in him automatically becoming a U.S. citizen.

America has done a poor job of taking care of the women and men who fought in George Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan/. Problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs are legendary.

We provide little funding for treating the psychological injuries of war.

But when a man or a woman volunteers to pickup a gun and defend this country, we should be there for that soldier when they return.  If they make a mistake and commit a crime, go ahead and punish them.

But in this huge political push to see who can out-tough other politicians when it comes to immigrants, real people get caught up in the system.

We abandoned this man to the streets after he fought for us. This is deplorable what the government is now trying to do.

We believe that if you serve our nation honorably and come back to the United States that you should not be deported. A black letter rule that would prohibit us from deporting women and men who put on our country’s uniform.

Miguel Perez is running out of options. He has already been ordered de-or Ted by the immigration judge.  He is seeking relief in the Board of Immigration Appeals and has asked for members of Congress to assist him.

Will we leave this blood brother behind?  After what we a

Lawsuit Pays Off For Detroit Green Card Holder

This is our client, Bhavin.

Bhavin was born in India and came to the U.S. to study.

He is an engineer and works for Ford Motor Company. Bhavin lives near Detroit, Michigan.

Bhavin obtained lawful permanent resident status many years ago through his family.

In the summer of 2015, Bhavin filed an N-400 naturalization application with USCIS.

He underwent fingerprinting and biometrics at the Detroit USCIS Application Support Center.

Then he waited for his interview.

And waited. And waited. And waited some more.

He did everything that he could do to follow up with USCIS to see why his case had been delayed.

No one would give him a straight answer.

Bhavin went to InfoPass appointments at USCIS. That didn’t work.

Bhavin asked for members of Congress to help. That didn’t work, either.

Bhavin asked for the USCIS Ombudsman, who is supposed to be the consumer advocate at USCIS to intervene. Still that didn’t work.

Frustrated, Bhavin did not know what to do.

After waiting over 15 months and running out options, he took to the internet.

He found a forum on a website called Trackitt. This website allows people with similar problems to talk about them online and to post about possible solutions.

Bhavin found some references to a crazy immigration law firm in St. Louis that helps people whose immigration cases have been unfairly delayed.

He scheduled a Skype consultation with attorney Jim Hacking of our office.

Bhavin decided to sue USCIS after meeting with Mr. Hacking.

That was six weeks ago.

Today, Bhavin had his naturalization interview at the Detroit field office of USCIS.

The interview lasted about 30 minutes. Mr. Hacking flew in from St. Louis for the interview.

Everything went well and Bhavin was approved on the spot.

His oath ceremony is scheduled for one week from now.

Congratulations, Bhavin!

Big Win at Immigration for Happily Married Couple

When a US citizen marries a foreign national, they can sponsor their spouse for a green card.

If the couple has been married less than two years when the green card is approved, then the foreign national only receives a two-year, temporary green card.

Before the 2-year green card expires, the couple must submit a form called an I-751 form to the immigration service. They have to demonstrate that they are still married and the marriage is real.

If the couple fails to submit this form, the foreign national can lose their status and even end up in deportation proceedings.

Early last year, our law firm was hired to represent a U.S. citizen and his wife. They are both originally from Kosovo.

They have three children and they have lived together every day since they were married.

This couple did file the I 751 on time, but they failed to respond to a request for additional evidence from USCIS. As a result, USCIS denied their I-751 petition.

This couple happens to be members of the Islamic faith. They dress in traditional Muslim garb. S it is not entirely surprising that USCIS sent the woman to deportation court.

This is a bit upsetting, however, given the fact that we have had many clients who come to see us after having not filed there I 751 on time, but without ever being placed in removal. We had a Canadian client who filed it nine years late and he was not placed into removal.

To the best of our recollection, this is the only couple that we have ever had actually sent to deportation for this failure to follow the rules.

After the deportation proceedings began, the couple hired us to try and help.

We filed a new i-751 and submitted a lot of evidence that the couple is still married. The best evidence, of course, is the fact that they have 3 U.S. citizen children between them.

The immigration judge put the deportation case on hold while USCIS decided what to do with the new submission from our office. Last week, we went to a 10 minute interview at the St.Louis field office of USCIS and the case was approved on the spot by one of the supervisors.

We will now be able to take that approval notice and get the deportation case stopped.

We are very happy for a client, especially the wife who has been afraid to go visit her mother back home because of the pending deportation case. Now, she will be able to go visit her family. Our client is also eligible to apply for citizenship now.

February 2, 2017 – USCIS Guidance Concerning Executive Order on Immigration

In light of President Trump’s Executive Order of January 27, 2017, it was unclear as to whether USCIS would stop processing all applications for people from the 7 affected countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Syria.

USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba issued a memorandum on February 2, 2017, to clarify the processing of cases for people who are in the United States presently and are from one of the 7 countries.

You can read the memorandum here.  It is good news, for the most part.

1) The travel ban in the Executive Order will not impact processing of the vast majority of cases by USCIS, even if the individual comes form one of the countries effected.  This includes the cases of individuals outside of the United States with the exception of some applications where USCIS approval automatically involves the applicant being granted permission to travel – USCIS will not approve those cases. Examples of applications USCIS may approve if the person is outside the United States and is from one of the effected countries include fiance petitions and I-130s.
2) Applications to register permanent residence or adjust status (applications for green cards) will continue to be processed normally regardless of the applicant’s country of origin.
3) Applications for the relatives of refugees or individuals who have already been granted asylum will be processed as normal, as long as the refugee or person granted asylum is inside the United States.
4) Where an individual is a religious minority suffering persecution in their country of origin, or where there is an already existing agreement on refugee processing, USCIS will continue interviews.
5) All asylum cases filed outside of immigration court will continue to be processed as normal.
Note: this memo does not affect the processing of visas by the State Department and U.S. embassies.  It appears that all of those applications have been paused in light of the Trump EO.

 

Executive Order – Donald Trump – Muslim Ban – Frequently Asked Questions

Our office has prepared a summary and list of frequently asked questions regarding the Muslim Ban issued by President Donald Trump on January 27, 2017.

The text appears below.  You can download a .pdf of the FAQ list by clicking here.

Note: The following is general information regarding the January 27th Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump.  It does not constitute legal advice.  You should consult with an immigration attorney in order to get personalized answers to your own situation.

This document will be updated as changes occur.  If you need immediate assistance, please call (314) 961-8200 or email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com.  You should also visit our website at www.hackinglawpractice.com/muslimban for more info.

What changes did President Trump make to the visa and entry process?

The Executive Order states, “In order to protect Americans, we must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward our country and its founding principles.”

President Trump has prohibited the State Department from issuing any visa, admission, or any other benefit to individuals from particular countries.

Starting on January 27, 2017, and continuing for the next 90 days, the U.S. will exclude from entry immigrants and nonimmigrants who are from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Additional countries may be added to this list at any time.  The Executive Order provides a very limited exception to this rule, but that would require that the State Department or Homeland Security find that it is in the national interest for the person to be issued a visa or allowed to enter the U.S.

The President also directed State and DHS to develop additional criteria to determine ways to make sure “the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.”

To which types of immigrants do these changes apply?

Based on reports that we are receiving, these changes apply to any noncitizen from one of the listed 7 countries.  Lawful permanent residents from these countries have been prohibited from boarding planes to the U.S. since the ban was put into place on January 27th.  Recently, the Trump White House has indicated that lawful permanent residents will be allowed into the country.

Students attempting to come to the U.S. from one of the listed countries have also been denied their F1 student visas.  We have every reason to believe that the ban will apply to all nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, including the spouses and fiancees of U.S. citizens.

We believe that the embassies in these countries (not all have a U.S. embassy) will be prohibited from issuing visas to the spouses and fiancees of U.S. citizens, even if USCIS has previously approved their applications.

One question that remains unclear are U.S. citizens who maintain a U.S. passport and a passport from one of the listed countries (so-called dual citizens).  When you become a U.S. citizen, you are not supposed to travel on any passport other than your American passport.  We have heard of problems since the ban went into effect for people.

Should I leave the U.S. if I am from one of these countries?

We recommend that non-citizens from these seven countries stay in the U.S. as long as they have the necessary permission to be here.  Non-essential travel should be avoided at all cost.  There is no guarantee that people from these countries will be allowed back into the U.S.

For now, we would even recommend that U.S. citizens from these countries not leave the U.S. either.  We think it is unlikely that they would not be able to get back, but no reason to take the risk if they can avoid it.

What if I am from a predominantly-Muslim country that is not on the list?

Our advice for all non-U.S.-citizens is to remain in the U.S.  No one can guarantee that other countries will not be added to the list.  You may find yourself stuck out of the U.S. for months and months.

Does the ban apply to non-citizens who are already in the U.S.?

As of now, the President’s Executive Order does not apply to people who are already in the United States.  It is unclear as to whether the President has made changes to the asylum system in the U.S.  Spouses of U.S. citizens who happen to be from one of the listed countries may still be able to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent resident.  Recent news reports suggest that USCIS has been instructed to continue processing all immigration cases, but that final decisions should not be issued for individuals from the seven listed countries.

Can these changes be challenged in court?

Lawsuits challenging this Executive Order are already on file.  The people suing the government will most likely ask the Court to temporarily lift the ban on the issuance of visas.  Federal courts throughout the U.S. have been issuing rulings – all of them so far have been against the Trump administration.

It is very difficult to obtain such orders.  The plaintiffs would have to demonstrate that they would suffer irreparable harm (harm that could not be fixed) if the ban is not lifted.  Moving forward, the courts will give President Trump great deference and it seems more likely that the ban will stay in place while the courts figure out what do with the lawsuit.

For immigrant visas (family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents), under the Immigration Act of 1965, the president may not refuse to give visas to immigrants coming to live in the United States permanently due to their nationality. The provision is unequivocal in stating that no person may “be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.”

What changes did the President make with regard to refugees?

The United States will refuse entry for any refugees from any country for the next 120 days.

The President has directed State and DHS to review the screening process to see if any refugees pose a threat to the U.S.  Refugee applicants who are already in the process may be admitted if they make it through the new, heightened scrutiny.

After the 120 days have gone by, refugees for countries that the U.S. believes has sufficient safeguards in place to “ensure the security and welfare of the U.S.” may be allowed to enter as refugees.

The order halts the processing and admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely, until the President determines that sufficient changes have been made to ensure that the admission of Syrian refugees is in the national interest.

President Trump has directed that preferences be given to refugees claiming “religious based persecution” if they are a minority religion in their home country.  An example would be Christians from Syria (a predominantly Muslim country).  In other words, Muslim refugees will most likely not be admitted into the U.S. in the foreseeable future (beyond the 120 days).

I am traveling to the U.S. from overseas.  What should I do?

First, make sure you have permission to enter the U.S.  Lawful permanent residents and citizens should be allowed into the country.  Expect extra scrutiny if you are from one of the listed countries or traveled there recently.  If you are a lawful permanent resident, do NOT sign any forms to abandon your residency.  Customs officials should allow you into the country.  For other visa holders, you may not be allowed to board if your visa has been revoked.

What can we do?

Contact the White House and your members of Congress. Write letters to local and national newspapers. Join the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Join a political party and advocate for real change. Educate yourself and attend marches and rallies.

Prepared for you by the immigration lawyers at the Hacking Law Practice, LLC, 34 N. Gore, Suite 101, St. Louis, MO 63119

Phone: (314) 961-8200 – www.hackinglawpractice.cominfo@hackinglawpractice.com

Jim Hacking Appears on KMOX to Discuss the Muslim Ban

Immigration Attorney Jim Hacking appeared on News Talk 1120 this morning to discuss President Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban.

Here’s the audio:

And the transcript:

Debbie Monterrey: KMOX News time 7:52. President Trump’s Executive Order travel ban definitely has people on both sides of the aisles with their own opinions. One thing I think you can’t dispute is there has been a lot of chaos and confusion as a lot of people who are supposed to carry these rules out are not quite clear.

We’re checking in right now with a St. Louis area immigration attorney, who deals with issues like this every day. James Hacking III is with the Hacking Law Practice. Thanks so much for being with us.

James Hacking : Hi Debbie, great to be with you. Thanks for having me.

Debbie: Now I imagine you, like all of us, are trying to figure out exactly, “Well, what does this order mean, and how long will it last? How is it being implemented?” I’m sure there’s misinformation on both sides of it. From your perspective, what does this ban mean, especially for the clients that you serve?

James: I think you need to step back a little bit and remember that back in December of 2015, candidate Trump said that he wanted to institute a Muslim ban. He wanted to have a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Now that he’s become President, he, in his first week of office, issued a series of Executive Orders. One of the ones that he issued late Friday night, at 4:30 in the afternoon, was to ban any immigration for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from coming into the United States. He also instituted an outright ban on refugees from coming into the United States.

I think it’s really important to keep in mind that this Order, by all accounts, was not drafted in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security. That DHS did not find out about this until the very last minute. There was no consultation with them. It doesn’t appear to be any real lawyers involved.

This seems to be the writings of Steve Bannon, someone who has promoted white nationalism. He said in 2013 that he was a Leninist, that he wanted to destroy the state. That’s his goal too, that he wanted to bring everything crashing down. He certainly succeeded in doing that over the weekend.

Customs and Border Patrol, which has 65,000 agents across the world, were left with no instructions on how to implement this Executive Order. They were given absolutely no guidance. It really was a train wreck.

Michael Calhoun: James, what’s the difference between what happened over the weekend, or Friday, and what President Obama did in 2011 with the Iraqi refugees? Because a lot of people are pointing to that and saying that there’s not much difference. What’s the difference between this order and that one? Is it basically the implementation that’s been the difference?

James: No, it’s fundamentally different. There were two changes that President Obama made. Both of them were minor, minor in scope as compared to what Mr. Trump has done. Number one, there’s a temporary halt on Iraqi refugees for just a few months. That’s not at all what we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about here is an outright ban from people from seven countries.

The President and Bannon have cited things like 9/11 and the Executive Order. They’ve made arguments in Court when they’ve been challenged that this was related to the San Bernadino shootings. Of course, that was with people from Pakistan backgrounds. So there’s really no relation or correlation between the Order itself and anything that’s actually happening in the news.

The other thing that President Obama did is there’s a procedure where people who are from certain countries. The United States has entered into agreements with most of the European countries, and says that if you are from one of those countries, and you want to come to the United States, that you don’t have to actually go to the embassy and get a visa.

What President Obama and the Congress put into place is that for the people from these countries, that they would actually have to go and get a visa. They could still come to the United States. They could still afford all the rights and privileges of other people. But here we’re saying that people from these seven countries, there’s been no test that these people are involved in terrorism. These are people that are doctors, and lawyers, and professors, and students. There’s just some blanket stereotype and generalization that is from the far fringe right of the Republican Party. It’s nonsense really.

When you think about the refugees, one of the things that’s really troubling is, of course, this Order was handed down on National Holocaust Remembrance Day. We’re turning away people who are being subjected to war and some of the most horrible conditions. We’ve all seen pictures of Syria.

The idea that Syrian refugees, or refugees from any country, are not properly vetted or not extremely vetted, is an absolute joke. I deal with immigrants every single day. There’s no harder way to come to the United States than to come as a refugee. It’s not like you just say, “Oh, somebody knocked my house down. Can I please come to America?” And you’re on the plane the next day. You’re sitting in a refugee camp for years and years while you are, in fact, extremely vetted. They go over your application.

The fact is that 70% of refugees who are coming to the United States are women and children. This is a complete tempest in a teapot. There’s no relation to reality. I’m glad to see that it’s being struck down as much as it has been. It’s been challenged now in three different courts.

Debbie: We’ve got to run. We appreciate the information. As of now, we don’t have an idea of exactly when people waiting for family members to come here may get word. James Hacking III is with the Hacking Law Practice, a St. Louis immigration attorney joining us here on KMOX.

Final Executive Order on “Muslim Ban”

Here is the final text of the President’s Executive Order regarding visas and refugees for people from certain Muslim countries.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 27, 2017
EXECUTIVE ORDER
– – – – – – –
PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.
Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.
In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes.
Sec. 3. Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.
(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.
(c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).
(d) Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.
(e) After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.
(f) At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.
(g) Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.
(h) The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 days of the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order.
Sec. 4. Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs. (a) The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant’s ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.
(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order.
Sec. 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures. Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.
(b) Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.
(c) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.
(d) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.
(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.
(f) The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.
(g) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.
Sec. 6. Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility. The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda.

Sec. 7. Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.
(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section. The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order. Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.
Sec. 8. Visa Interview Security. (a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.
(b) To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.
Sec. 9. Visa Validity Reciprocity. The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.
Sec. 10. Transparency and Data Collection. (a) To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:
(i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later;
(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and
(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and
(iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.
(b) The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels.
Sec. 11. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 27, 2017.
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