Immigration News & Resources

Executive Orders

On Friday, January 27, the new administration issued an executive order that restricts entry (and reentry), into the U.S. for citizens and nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen on non-immigrant visas.

On Monday, March 6, the administration issued a revision to the January 27 executive order. Citizens from the affected countries — Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya — would be subject to a 90-day ban on travel to the United States. In a change from the January order, Iraqi nationals were no longer subject to restricted travel to the US. The revised order also called for a 120-day suspension of the refugee program. The revised executive order would have gone into effect on March 16, 2017.

On March 15, a federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order blocking the six-nation travel/visa ban and suspension of refugee processing announced in the March 6 executive order. On March 29, the same judge granted a motion to transform the temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction, meaning that the executive order will remain blocked throughout the litigation process in Hawaii.

On September 24, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation restricting inbound travel to the United States for certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.  The scope and effect of the entry ban varies based on the country in question.  The ban goes into effect for Chadian and North Korean nationals, as well as all nationals of the other five named countries who can claim a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity, on October 18, 2017.  The ban went into effect on September 24 for all nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen who cannot claim such a bona fide relationship.  In addition, certain Venezuelan public officials will be barred from entry into the United States starting on October 18.  The Proclamation lifts the entry ban on Sudanese nationals. The Proclamation contemplates that the entry restrictions will be revisited and reconsidered every 180 days.

The Harvard International Office (HIO) has created an FAQ regarding the travel ban, available here (last updated 3/30/17). If you are a non-U.S. citizen Harvard student with questions related to travel, please contact the HIO as soon as possible.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On September 5, the Trump administration announced that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months, unless Congress takes legislative action to protect DACA recipients within that same six month period. Since DACA's establishment in 2012, the Department of Homeland Security has deferred taking action to remove qualifying undocumented immigrants, commonly known as DREAMers, and also granted renewable term-limited work authorization. DACA status has been subject to renewal every two years. The current plan to phase out DACA will not affect current recipients until March 5, 2018.

During the six-month phaseout process, new DACA applications will not be accepted. Those whose DACA status is set to expire between now and March 5, 2018 may apply for renewal, but must do so no later than October 5, 2017. DACA recipients who planned to travel outside the country and applied for "advance parole" (a necessary step for DACA recipients who planned to temporarily leave the US) must cancel their travel plans. Pending applications for advance parole for DACA recipients will be canceled, and applicants will have their fees reimbursed.  

Resources and information for undocumented members of the Harvard University community are available here. Additionally, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center has provided a guide regarding the rescission of DACA.