Reuters Exclusive: US Gov’t orders Embassies to identify Certain Population Groups for Extreme Vetting including Mandatory Social Media checks
Reuters recently reported on an exclusive story regarding four diplomatic cables (links below) transmitted by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the last two weeks that call for heightened screening and vetting of visa applicants, including asking applicants detailed questions about their backgrounds and making social media checks mandatory for those who have ever been present in territory controlled by the Islamic State.
Read the Diplomatic Cables (Via Reuters)
1) CABLE 23338 – Guidance to Visa-Issuing Posts; March 10, 2017
2) CABLE 24324 – Implementing Immediate Heightened Screening and Vetting of Visa Applications; March 15, 2017
3) CABLE 24800 – Halt Implementation; March 16, 2017
4) CABLE 25814 – Implementing Immediate Heightened Screening and Vetting of Visa Applications; March 17, 2017
US Dept of State Alert on Provisionally Revoked/Expired/Cancelled Visas
DOS alert that visas that were provisional revoked are now valid for travel to the U.S., if the holder is otherwise eligible. Individuals whose visas are expired, or were physically cancelled, must apply for a new visa, absent a CBP grant parole or waive the visa requirement at the port of entry.
The US federal appeals court today denied the US government’s emergency request to resume President Donald Trump’s travel ban which had been suspended by a federal judge on Friday.
The late night ruling means the travel ban will remain suspended until the full case has been heard.
Federal Court Suspends President Trump’s Executive Order banning Muslims and Refugees, CBP & DOS to Resume Business as Usual
On February 3, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the federal government from enforcing Sections 3(c) [90-day travel ban on “immigrants and nonimmigrants” from designated countries], 5(a) [120-day ban on U.S. refugee program], 5(b) [prioritization of certain refugee claims], 5(c) [indefinite suspension of Syrian refugee admissions], and 5(e) [case-by-case refugee admissions] of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order on a nationwide basis. All U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing these portions of the EO until further order from the court.
Customs and Border Protection: The American Immigration Lawyers Association has been advised that all CBP Field Offices have been instructed to immediately resume inspection of travelers under standard policies and procedures. All airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality.
Department of State: DOS has confirmed that assuming there were no other issues in the case, provisionally revoked visas have been reversed and are valid again.
The Trump administration declared its intention to file an emergency stay of the order “at the earliest possible time.”
Attorney Sharma speaks to WJXT Channel 4 News regarding President Trump’s Travel Ban (Version 2.0)
Immigration Attorney Ashwin Sharma interviewed by WJXT News4Jax on President Trump’s new immigration executive order (Travel Ban Version 2.0) anticipated to be issued this week. The new order is expected be specifically tailored to address National Security issues and to overcome Constitutional challenges like those that affected the earlier executive order.
The new Executive Order will purportedly take effect 1-2 weeks after it is signed, and appears to continue to focus on the original seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya, but exempt green-card holders and dual citizens of the U.S. and any of those countries. The new order would apparently no longer specifically reject Syrian refugees when processing new visa applications. As well, DHS Sectretary Kelly indicates that if travellers are “in motion from some distant land”, at the time the Executive Order takes effect, they “will be allowed in”.