Post-Election 2017 Update

Important Information for Immigrants Post-Election

This is an uncertain time in our country. President Trump’s Executive Orders are grounded in fear, not in fact.  They call for actions that are expensive, unnecessary, and antithetical to JFON’s values of compassion and dignity for all individuals. As people of faith, we are called upon to seek mercy, do justice, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. As community members, we must fight Trump’s harmful policies any way we can and lift a message of inclusivity, compassion and justice.

Times change; governments change; yet these commands remain unchanged. JFON will continue to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters and fight for them, and alongside them. Join us!

Executive Order One: “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Movements” 

Executive Order Two: “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”

The two Executive Orders signed on January 25, 2017 focus on border security and interior enforcement.  While we are still learning to learn their ramifications and reach, key points include:

  • Construct a southern border wall
  • Boost border patrol forces and increase the number of immigration enforcement officers who carry out deportations
  • End “catch and release,” in essence guaranteeing that immigrants and asylum-seekers are continuously detained and denied freedom, with no regard to humanitarian concerns
  • Cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities and counties, which have chosen to not cooperate with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in favor of protecting their residents
  • Prioritize deportation of certain immigrants (this encompasses not only “criminals” but a range of other categories, including those who have been charged with a crime but not convicted)

Executive Order Three: “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”

Update: The travel ban is NOT in effect. On February 9, a federal appeals court ruled against President Donald Trump’s attempt to revive the travel ban stipulations of this executive order. The three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected the Justice Department’s request to lift a Seattle-based judge’s restraining order that blocked authorities from carrying out the limits Trump sought to impose on travel to the U.S. by refugees and by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries.

The third and most recent immigration-focused Executive Order by President Trump, signed January 27, 2017, targets refugees as well as those traveling from seven predominantly Muslim countries.  National Justice for Our Neighbors is strongly opposed to this action because it shuts the door on the world’s most vulnerable people.

In addition, NJFON is concerned that this Order targets Muslims.  The travel ban pertains only to Muslim-majority countries.  Furthermore, the Order directs that once the refugee program resumes, preference should be given to the resettlement of religious-based persecution claims of religious minorities.  This effectively prioritizes Christian refugees over Muslim refugees.

This order includes:

  • An unprecedented travel ban in that it excludes entry into our country based on where someone was born.  The order applies to Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. Currently halted. 
  • A suspension of America’s refugee program for 120 days, which will effectively grind refugee resettlement here to a halt.  This is because many of the requirements of refugees, such as security screenings and medical exams, are time-limited and will expire by the time the ban is lifted.
  • Reduces the number of refugees we will accept from 110,000 to 50,000 and bans all refugees from Syria, reneging on our nation’s pledge to the world to provide refuge to these most imperiled people.
  • Allows states to have a more active role in banning the acceptance of refugees.  We have seen many governors over the past year seek to shut the door on refugees, and this order grants them more authority to do just that.

Moving Forward:

We expect more executive orders to be announced soon, including an assault on our nation’s DACA program and the stripping of public benefits for our neighbors in need.  We will keep you informed of these actions and provide as many specific ways to engage as possible.  In the meantime, thank you for your compassion, your advocacy, and for standing with us and our immigrant neighbors.

Common FAQs:

  • Should I apply for DACA now, or renew it if I have it? We recommend you speak with an immigration attorney if you are considering applying for DACA for the first time or renewing DACA.
  • Will my in-state tuition / admission to university/college end if I am undocumented? The laws that provide in- state tuition/admission for students are passed by states and cannot be changed by the President.
  • I plan to file an application for VAWA / U visa/ T visa. Should I wait? There is no reason to delay filing for this relief. It is established in U.S. law and cannot be changed by the President acting alone.