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Executive Orders on Immigration

June 26, 2017 US Supreme Court decision related to the March 6, 2017 Executive Order

On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13780, entitled "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States." EO 13780 includes a revised 90-day entry ban on citizens of six nations in the Middle East and Africa, which was set to become effective on March 16, 2017. However, two U.S. District Courts (Hawaii and Maryland) have issued orders that currently prevent the Government from enforcing that ban. In a June 26, 2017 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court partially granted the government's request to stay the preliminary injunctions. The decision, however, contains an important exception that upholds the injunction for individuals "who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." Most students and scholars, therefore, should continue to be exempt from the 90-day bar.

Here’s what we know:

  • Starting at 8 pm EDT on June 29, 2017 US consulates and embassies around the world will no longer approve visas for people traveling on passports from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen to come to the United States, unless those people can establish a “bona fide relationship” with someone or something in the US.
  • Anyone who already has a valid visa as of 8 pm EDT on June 29 is supposed to be allowed into the US, according to President Trump’s executive order.
  • A “bona fide relationship” can be with a business or university in the US — for example, if the person has a job offer or a conference invitation — or it can be with certain family members.
  • Only certain family members, however, will count as “bona fide” relationships. According to the US Department of State applicants or refugees seeking to be admitted to the US who have a “parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling” or half sibling — or a “step” version of any of those relationships (stepparent, stepchild, etc.) — in the US will be approved, because that relationship counts as “bona fide.” But other relationships do not — including grandparents and grandchildren, fiancés, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
  • People traveling for business, meanwhile, are only going to get visas if the US government determines that they’re not just being invited to the US to circumvent the ban.
  • There are exceptions. Consular officers are supposed to grant visas to people who’d otherwise be banned in some particular circumstances — for example, if they’re in need of urgent medical care or doing business with the US government — or if the officer (with leadership approval) decides that denying the visa would cause undue hardship and allowing the person to come is in the US’ national interest.

Statements and updates

AILA Practice Alert: DHS and DOS Implementation of Executive Order Imposing Travel and Refugee Ban July 19th, 2017

Second Executive Order on Immigration March 6, 2017

First Executive Order on Immigration January 27, 2017

January 30, 2017 message from President Michael Engh, SJ 

Responses from University Presidents and Leaders

Additional Resources on Immigration

NAFSA: International Association of International Educators offers an excellent summary of the U.S. immigration system, government agencies and the process of change on their Practical Immigration Concepts in a Time of Change webpage. More detailed information can also be found in the following sources (from full resource list at


National Context of the Executive Order

Executive Order Impact for Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)

Executive Order Impact for Undocumented and DACA Students

Resources for SCU faculty