As I write this, the Executive Order has been in place almost exactly 1 week. I have given several updates, and I have another to give, but first I wanted to take a moment to explain the way the US public are dealing with the ban. The EO did not go unnoticed. There is a wave of public interest in the ban with support on both sides. There is much debate, and much acrimony between people over the ban. And that is from people who, very often, have no personal interest in immigration through a family member and so on. So – even though many of the 320 million residents have no “skin in the game”, many of them are discussing how we are treating people from abroad.
From a legal point of view, there are two competing legal principles, one (section 202(a) of the INA) is designed to stop discrimination against certain groups (such as sex, religion, place of birth). On the other side, another law (I US Code 1182) gives the President power to suspend or restrict classes of aliens form entering if that is in the best interest of the USA. Those two laws are somewhat at odds with each other, so the only way to sort that out is letting lawyers battle it out and have judges decide which law is more powerful. That takes time, and in the meantime, the government staff have to follow orders (unless they KNOW those orders are illegal).
In the USA, public opinion is split. There are many that have taken to protesting the unfairness of the ban, and there are many that believe the ban is a “sensible temporary measure” to maintain the security of the country. I think overall the anti ban sentiment is more common than pro ban, but many see this as a mere inconvenience, since the administration describes it as a temporary ban. But then I live in California, which is left leaning, but there are large parts of this country that would support Trump, whatever he does, so my experience may not be representative. Polls taken nationally though do show that Trump has the lowest approval ratings of any president for many years – and the EO is likely to re-affirm that feeling.
KCC and the embassy staff work for the government. They follow the laws of the country, but are managed on a day to day basis by their bosses who ultimately report to (at the top of the tree), the President of the USA (often referred to as “POTUS”). So, again, they have to implement his order to the best of their ability until they KNOW it to be illegal. There is a rule that says visas should not be issued to someone that is ineligible to enter the USA. So, since the embassy staff and KCC work for POTUS, they immediately cancelled all interviews for people affected by the ban AND revoked visas for people that had attended immigrant interviews and had been approved/issued. So, if a DV case had been approved and issued a visa to enter the USA, but had not yet entered to activate their LPR status, they suddenly found themselves with cancelled visas. I don’t know how many DV cases or derivatives were affected by that, but as a guess I would guess the number to be hundreds of people. Remember, all those people had been vetted, had their medicals, passed their interviews, and paid their fees. I always in the past have told people to consider themselves “safe” when the visas were in their hands. Now even that advice has turned out to be incorrect. Some of these visas will expire during this ban and that leaves people in an impossible situation. It’s utterly regrettable. I don’t blame the embassies or KCC for implementing the rules, but I think it is a horribly cruel outcome.
On Wednesday of this week a Federal Judge ordered (you can read about that here) that people in that position (i.e. people holding valid immigrant visas) must be allowed to enter the USA and therefore activate their LPR status. Other judges had already ruled that affected Green Card holders (LPRs) should be allowed to enter, so this judge made a common sense and correct decision to extend that position that had been fully approved. That should be the correct position. However, I have been watching the KCC page and asking people affected in this way and up to now, there has been now change in the official position from KCC. Their position is published on their webpage here.
Now, I am mindful that KCC have a job to do and that work won’t be made easier by lots of people calling to ask about this. So DON’T do that – don’t waste their time asking questions because of your impatience.
However, I felt this morning I had to try and get some information so I called KCC to ask them two important questions.
- Will the revoked visas now be re-instated, thus allowing people to enter the USA.
- If not, what will happen to those cases once the ban is lifted (after the 90 days or if lifted earlier).
So I spoke to a nice lady by the name of Francis (possibly Frances – sorry!). They have a tough job, and they have to take a lot of calls from some very concerned people who are actual selectees, so I explained who I was (i.e. “Simon from the BritSimonSays”) and I was grateful she took a few minutes to listen and talk with me. She listened to my question patiently, then put me on hold while speaking to a supervisor. Her answer after the hold was that they can only answer as they are directed, and that their position will be updated on the webpage I linked to above. So for now, that is all they can say. Again, there is no point asking them the same question. I asked, and they have told me all they know. When they know more, they will post it.
The situation is fast moving and whilst judges can make legally enforceable decisions, other judges can disagree. So again, it’s about waiting for legal battles to clarify the position.
As a funny side note, Francis told me that the staff at KCC generally know about BritSimonSays and they appreciate that I am trying to help. I offered my personal contact details in case they ever felt the need to correct me and she said that wasn’t necessary as they don’t usually think I am that wrong on my interpretation. That made me chuckle, and I am pleased that at least they don’t see me as an annoyance, providing bad information. Over the last few years I might have seemed critical of their methods (the bad IT rollouts and the stubbornness built into the VB progression), but I have always understood they are just doing their job within a set of rules and they do the best they can. So THANKS to Francis and the team at KCC!!! Maybe I can send them some BritSimonSays.com T-shirts!!! 🙂
February 3, 2017 at 19:32
hahaha that last part made me happy for you 😀 thanks Simon for all you do.
Atm all we can do is wait in fear 🙂 n’ hope for the best.
February 3, 2017 at 19:33
You are doing a great job. Thanks for this information.
February 3, 2017 at 19:33
Brritsimon… does that mean people with valid greencard and are outside the US are currently permitted to return to the US even if they are from the banned countries. My friend here is really on a verge of collapse…
February 3, 2017 at 20:12
Someone from an affected country that is ALREADY activated as an LPR is CLEARED to enter the USA. That stands whether they have received the plastic GC or not.
February 3, 2017 at 19:41
Hi Brit and thank you so much,
Considering the circumstances is it possible that he will add other countries to the list before the end of the 90 days?
I have my interview at the end of March and I am from Algeria.
February 3, 2017 at 20:11
It is possible – but I don’t know. Trump doesn’t check with me directly.
February 4, 2017 at 01:17
Haaahaaaaa i reserve my comments. ..
February 3, 2017 at 19:45
Thanks Simon for the continuous update.
Regarding the point that you mentioned that is related to LPR:
“Other judges had rules that affected Green Card holders (LPRs) should be allowed to enter,”
Does this mean this was not determined yet? I thought the “Homeland Security Dept.” declared that LPRs are excluded from EO.
the following is mentioned in “Homeland Security” website: (https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states)
“Importantly, however, Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States traveling on a valid I-551 will be allowed to board U.S. bound aircraft and will be assessed for exceptions at arrival ports of entry, as appropriate. The entry of these individuals, subject to national security checks, is in the national interest. Therefore, we expect swift entry for these individuals.”
I am in one of the affected countries, come back to prepare for the relocation after activating GCs for the family.
February 3, 2017 at 20:09
I changed the text in my post to say “Other judges had already ruled “. That should make it more clear.
For you, if all your family were approved AND you entered the USA to activate your status, you are then an LPR and will be allowed to enter the USA freely.
February 3, 2017 at 19:52
Do u think that ban will affect the upcoming VB?? Maybe we will see there is exception for those seven nationalities.
Thanks for your greating support.
February 3, 2017 at 20:10
In a few days we will see…
February 3, 2017 at 21:04
My freind did omitted to write on courses of study (in french we says options and section)
She did technical dressmaking but did write only dressmaking and did forgot to write technical
And than 6 years of high school She did put 7 because of repeating one grade twice
My question is that can she unblock the form to correct that or she can correct it at the interview?
And to unlock the form won’t cause any delay?form submit. End of October.
Thanks for your help.
February 4, 2017 at 01:20
I would normally always advise people to make sure their DS260 is as accurate as possible. However, the two corrections you mention are not that significant. So, wait and see if you get scheduled for interview this month. If you do NOT get scheduled by the time the 2NLs go out, unlock and correct at that point.
February 3, 2017 at 22:07
Good evening dear BritSimon:
Your replies are always great and to the point. You are really the best source I’ve ever read.
Thank you on behalf of Millions of people who always read your useful and great information.
February 3, 2017 at 22:09
thanks for your efforts.
I’m Sudanese, Khartoum embassy just updated my case yesterday (February 2).
last update was in December 27 I was in AP since November 14th.
not sure what it means just reporting it.
February 4, 2017 at 01:12
Updates happen for a number of reasons, but there is nothing we can tell from the updates. Because the only update we care about is the one that says issued, I usually tell people to ignore the updates.
February 3, 2017 at 22:17
Thanks for the update, Simon. I have no question this time but just want to share my current AOS situation and how this has affected me.
– My case number became current last Nov but I thought I would delay my i-485 as I booked a trip back home to spend time with family because my father’s health is in rapid decline. I submitted my DS-260 in May 2016 but not i-485.
– Then Trump won the election and for some strange reason (maybe my own paranoia) I saw this EO coming exactly 1 week before his inauguration. I cancelled my entire trip and stayed in the US.
– As of now, I consider myself borderline “safe” with my current nonimmigrant visa AND as a Malaysian citizen. I am not Muslim, but Malaysia is a Islam-dominant nation although it is not yet named as one of the banned countries. I worry that it’s just a matter of time until he’s done going for the most vulnerable nations.
– I rushed to submit my i-485 as soon as my medicals came in this week. The wait now is extra agonizing!
– Meanwhile my current visa is expiring this coming December and I can only hope for the best.
My case is probably very rare, but I hope to share with other AOS applicants that they should reconsider traveling outside of the US while intending to adjust status, your valid visa does NOT guarantee re-admission, especially during unusual times like this.
February 4, 2017 at 01:10
Yes, if I were in your position, I would carefully consider whether I really needed to travel out of the country.
February 3, 2017 at 23:00
Ha ha ha congratulations Simon you are famous in KCC! I hope too that you are right in the interpretation that gave me some months ago, I praying sincerely.
Thanks for all your help
February 3, 2017 at 23:08
Thanks you answered all the question i had this morning jejeje!!!
February 3, 2017 at 23:11
i was thinking that the best way is going to the interview and the next day fly tu USA
February 4, 2017 at 00:07
Wait a minute… because that is a very important point… I can buy a BritSimonSays.com t-shirt?? Please tell me where!
More seriously, thank you Simon for keeping us appraised on the situation and for providing these analysis. I am a Belgian DV 17 selectee, I entered the US with my family and activated our LPR right before Trump swore the oath. I realize that I am very fortunate not to be in the (current) line of sight of these reforms.. but I nevertheless feel deeply concerned by the changes. I can only offer my sympathy to the unfortunate people that are impacted by this nonsense. As you put it Simon, it is utterly cruel.
February 4, 2017 at 01:05
LOL. No T-shirts exist, but I might print some up for the lovely ladies of KCC!
Well done on voicing support for the people unfairly affected. I think if I were in their position, I would want to know that *someone* cared about the injustice.
February 4, 2017 at 01:12
Haahaaa Simon i was about to say i need T shirt..thank u for a well researched feedback. ..i hed there is one Nigerian deported from JFK due to the fact that she came through Qatar!!!…i didn’t believe it but i don’t want to ignore it either if anyone here has this information in detail pls share with us.
February 4, 2017 at 01:14
Yeah I would be dubious about that myself….
February 4, 2017 at 01:34
wold you please explain this stamens
February 4, 2017 at 02:27
I mean Statement , sorry
February 4, 2017 at 04:28
It is simply a clarification of the current position – a RE-statement.
February 4, 2017 at 05:05
thank you very much Brit, one more time. that T-shirt idea was awesome by the way (y)
February 4, 2017 at 06:02
Hi brit. Is it true trump gave Ethiopia only 100 visa a year?
February 4, 2017 at 06:13
NO! NO! A thousand times NO!