While at the Pentagon on January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” Executive Order, essentially ordering that all foreign nationals from countries identified in the E.O. – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – be stopped from entering the United States.

By January 28, foreign nationals from those identified countries with visas, as well as U.S. green card holders, were being detained at U.S. airports. Lawsuits challenging the E.O. were filed and a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, issued a temporary restraining order on January 28 staying the ban by halting deportations. Other federal district courts followed suit and further hearings are scheduled for February.

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security John Kelly stated on January 29 that returning U.S. green card holders were not subject to the ban.

The final E.O. differs from the initial draft E.O. leaked on January 26 and neither contained guidelines or provisions for implementing the bans.

Some substantive changes in the January 27 E.O.:

  • Suspends the entry and issuance of all types of visas for at least 90 days (instead of 30 days) for those from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
  • Eliminates the creation of safe zones in Syria.
  • Expands the grounds for exceptions to the 120-day ban on refugees to include persons actually in transit to the U.S. if denying admission would cause undue hardship.

The E.O. also grants state and local jurisdictions a role in determining the placement or settlement of eligible aliens in their jurisdictions in fulfillment of a campaign promise that a “Trump Administration would not admit any refugees without the support of the local community where they are being placed.

Other countries have responded to the E.O.: Iran has blocked Americans from entry and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invited to Canada those refugees who are or may be turned away from the U.S. Reverberations are far flung, even affecting the world of sports – posing a possible threat to Los Angeles hosting the 2024 Olympics and the U.S. hosting the 2026 Soccer World Cup.

Those who might be affected by the bans should contact their Jackson Lewis attorney before undertaking any international travel.


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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.