On Friday evening, February 3, a federal judge in our home state of Washington granted a nationwide temporary restraining order blocking the president’s controversial immigration executive order. The executive order, which had prevented refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the country, including some green card and visa holders, is now temporarily enjoined from being enforced by border officials.
Accordingly, all visas previously revoked under the executive order have been reinstated, visa processing at U.S. consulates around the world is being administered as normal, and travelers from these nations, as well as vetted refuges from all nations, are permitted to enter the U.S. – for now.
However, the Department of Justice has already initiated an emergency appeal process seeking to reverse the judge’s ruling, so the last chapter in this battle has not yet been written. Employers will want to stay on top of these rapidly changing developments, as they could impact your workforce and require adjustments to your business practices.
Signed on January 27, 2017, President Trump’s executive order, titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals,” created an immediate freeze on all entry for individuals from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Sudan. Both immigrant and non-immigrant visa holders were impacted by the executive order. The order also placed a 120-day ban on the U.S. refugee program and an indefinite suspension of Syrian refugee admissions.
The White House stated the restriction of travel from people from the seven countries was in the country’s national interest. Accordingly, the State Department immediately revoked any visas that had been issued and suspended the issuance of future visas for people from the seven listed countries, as well as those with refugee status.
In response to widespread protests and confusion at airports around the world, the White House soon clarified that the executive order was not intended to apply to lawful permanent residents or those with dual nationality.
Soon after the executive order was issued, the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota filed legal action in an attempt to stop the order. On Friday, February 3, 2017, Judge James Robart of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order, prohibiting th federal government from enforcing several key portions of the executive order.
Davis Bae, regional managing partner of the Seattle office of our client, Fisher Phillips, participated in an interview with KIRO 7 TV (CBS-Seattle) about the current status of President Tump’s immigration executive order. Davis is an expert on immigration law and counsels some of the U.S.’s largest and middle-sized businesses.
“There are plenty of studies that show that companies started by foreign nationals, companies that hire foreign nationals tend to be the most successful and hire the most U.S. workers. There’s going to be a problem with talent for local companies. Jobs will be at risk. I do think that what we’ll see is companies will look at the geography and say, ‘If we don’t have the talent here, we need to have the talent work somewhere,’ and that could result in unfortunately the wrong direction in terms of jobs — it could actually cause export of jobs.”
— Fisher Phillips immigration attorney Davis Bae
Immigration attorney Davis Bae is available for media interviews
If you are a journalist who is interested in learning about the impact of Trump’s immigration policies, please contact the Seattle office of the Fisher Phillips PR team at [email protected] or by calling the Fearey main line at (206) 343-1543.