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Trump Order Blocks 500,000 Legal U.S. Residents from Returning to America

| January 29, 2017

muslims refugees ban jfk airport

The whole new meaning of an arrival gate at JFK Airport. (© FlaglerLive)

When details leaked earlier this week about a spate of immigration-related executive orders from President Donald Trump, much public discussion focused on a 30-day ban on new visas for citizens from seven “terror-prone” countries.


But the order signed Friday afternoon by Trump is actually more severe, increasing the ban to 90 days. And its effects could extend well beyond preventing newcomers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, from entering the U.S., lawyers consulted by ProPublica said.

It’s also expected to have substantial effects on hundreds of thousands of people from these countries who already live in the U.S. under green cards or on temporary student or employee visas.

Since the order’s travel ban applies to all “aliens” — a term that encompasses anyone who isn’t an American citizen — it could bar those with current visas or even green cards from returning to the U.S. from trips abroad, said Stephen Legomsky, a former chief counsel to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under President Obama.

“It’s extraordinarily cruel,” he said.

The order bans the “entry” of foreigners from those countries and specifically exempts from the ban those who hold certain diplomatic visas.

Not included in the exemption, however, are those who hold long-term temporary visas — such as students or employees — who have the right to live in the United States for years at a time, as well as to travel abroad and back as they please.

“If applied literally, this provision would bar even those visitors who had made temporary trips abroad, for example a student who went home on winter break and is now returning,” Legomsky said on Friday evening executive order.


“It’s extraordinarily cruel.”


Trump made “extreme vetting” of foreigners a cornerstone of his campaign, particularly those from countries that are predominantly Muslim and that he considers hostile to the U.S.

“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. We don’t want them here,” Trump said this afternoon, describing the intention of the executive order. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting to our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.”

Trump signed the directive just before 5 p.m. but it took the White House almost three hours to release the actual text.

About 25,000 citizens from the seven countries specified in Trump’s ban have been issued student or employment visas in the past three years, according to Department of Homeland Security reports.

On top of that, almost 500,000 people from the seven countries have received green cards in the past decade, allowing them to live and work in the United States indefinitely. Legally speaking, green card holders are considered aliens. While lawyers are unsure if they would actually be barred from reentering the U.S. if they have traveled abroad, they conceded it’s a possibility.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking for clarification on the meaning of the executive order.

Citizens of Iran and Iraq far outnumber those from the other five countries among green card and visa holders. In the past 10 years, Iranian and Iraqi citizens have received over 250,000 green cards.

Iran also has the 11th most students in the U.S. among foreign nations, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report, which tracks the demographics of international students.

“We are inundated with calls and questions of how this is going to affect people,” said Jamal Abdi, policy director for the National Iranian American Council, an organization that advocates for better relations between Iranian and American people.

Abdi is concerned the temporary ban will become permanent. The order says the 90-day ban is meant to allow the U.S. and the seven targeted countries to discuss what information would need to be shared in order to start granting visas once again. But if no agreement is reached, citizens would remain blocked from entry.

“My interpretation is that the Iranian government is not going to comply regarding sharing information,” Abdi said, “which would render this a permanent ban.”

–Marcelo Rochaburn, ProPublica

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23 Responses for “Trump Order Blocks 500,000 Legal U.S. Residents from Returning to America”

  1. Veteran says:

    Better safe than sorry!

  2. footballen says:

    Freedom is not free and it’s high time we realize that. The threats to our nation are certainly feeling these effects.

  3. Knightwatch says:

    This is disgusting. We Americans have just thrown out all of the good will we have garnered for over 100 years as a welcoming refuge for the downtrodden, the fearful and the hopeful. Our reputation, our soul as a democratic nation, is forever gone… destroyed by an ignorant and hateful man and his ignorant and fearful conservative followers.

    I don’t think the trumppet or his followers are smart enough to fully comprehend the harm they have done to America. The Dunning/Kruger-effect is rampant there (you know… being way too dumb to realize you’re… dumb!), but this egregious action to openly discriminate against an entire culture and religion, here in by-god “Christian” America, will haunt us forever. Remember our pogroms against Native Peoples, against African Americans, against Chinese, against Japanese? Well, now were insulting and discriminating against 2 billion Muslims. They should not, and will not, take this peacefully.

  4. Ws says:

    GO TRUMP! GO TRUMP! Best President so far in my lifetime. GO TRUMP. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO WHAT MOST AMERICANS WANT. FINALLY A,PRESIDENT WITH BRAINS!

  5. Steve Wardrip says:

    Fantastic! This is a giant leap forward.

  6. Sherry says:

    This just in from the Associated Press:

    US judge bars deportations under Trump travel ban

    By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
    Today
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge’s emergency order has temporarily barred the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The judge said travelers who had been detained had a strong argument that their legal rights had been violated.

    The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement early Sunday that said the court ruling would not affect the overall implementation of the White House order and it affected a relatively small number of travelers who were inconvenienced by security procedures upon their return.

    The emergency order was issued by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in New York Saturday night after lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union filed a court petition on behalf of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations who were detained at airports across the country as the ban took effect.

  7. Pogo says:

    It’s 2001 all over again.

    The dog and pony show run by Trump to get the crowd’s attention is running 24/7. Meanwhile, the Republicans, i.e., big oil, banking (from private equity and public companies to payday loans,) big defense, big pharma, et al are feverishly working to pick the pockets of the suckers. The pickpockets, and muggers too, are busy “crafting” (as the fat crook from Kentucky is fond of saying) tax cuts for the 1%: a new arms race – and the wars to use it.

    Fear not the debt their crime wave will produce. The rest of us will finance it by eliminating any hope of retirement including literally raising retirement age; eliminating health care and education for the peasants, aka the forgotten man. The promised jobs that were never gonna happen will turn out to be the robots and automation that will also be the eyes and muscle of the privately owned police state they’re completing.

    Great again!

  8. The Oracle says:

    Every country in the world, has the right to control its borders.

  9. Steve Robinson says:

    So, Stephen Bannon tells the New York Times that the media needs to shut up and listen. Don’t worry Bannon, we’re all listening and we hear the sounds of jackboots and loud banging on the front door in the middle of the night. We hear you loud and clear as you murmur into the ear of an ignorant man whose only “ideology” is to have those around him constantly remind him of his greatness. We hear you loud and clear as you take your first steps toward implementing your white-supremacist views under the phony cover of protecting Americans from terrorism. Make no mistake: We hear you. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

  10. Freddy says:

    The 500,000 green card holders are not all outside the country traveling. How many are really out there no one knows for sure. If I were a green card holder and could not get back in I would view this as a temporary inconvenience just like after 9/11.

  11. JasonB says:

    Putin pulls the strings … and his puppet dances

  12. Concerned Observer says:

    Re: comments made in this article:

    • “But the order signed Friday afternoon by Trump is actually more severe, increasing the ban to 90 days. And its effects could extend well beyond preventing newcomers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, from entering the U.S., lawyers consulted by ProPublica said.” Thank you Mr. President for being more concerned with the safety of America and its citizens than what that left-leaning think tank of liberal lawyers think. This paradigm shift is long overdue.

    • “If applied literally, this provision would bar even those visitors who had made temporary trips abroad, for example a student who went home on winter break and is now returning.” Like a Muslim college student here studying engineering from returning to Somalia to obtain terrorist training and returning to the US? Yes! This ban is a Good Thing!

    • “I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. We don’t want them here,” Yes, another good paradigm shift! This is WHY President Trump won the election!

    • About 25,000 citizens from the seven countries specified in Trump’s ban have been issued student or employment visas in the past three years, according to Department of Homeland Security reports. Yes, this is a BAD Thing and needs to be corrected!

    • “On top of that, almost 500,000 people from the seven countries have received green cards in the past decade, allowing them to live and work in the United States indefinitely. Legally speaking, green card holders are considered aliens.” No. Google “Green Card” and read the definition yourself. A green card holder is a permit allowing a foreign national to live and work permanently in the US. If living here is so much more desirable than wherever they came from, stay here. If they feel the need to return “home”, See Ya. We don’t need them here to make our county a better place.

    • “Iran also has the 11th most students in the U.S. among foreign nations, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report, which tracks the demographics of international students.” Is profit for universities more important than the safety of our country? No! Has everyone forgotten what “Iranian students” did on 4 November 1979? I haven’t!

    • “My interpretation is that the Iranian government is not going to comply regarding sharing information,” Abdi said, “which would render this a permanent ban.” Pray tell, exactly what type of information would the Iranian Government, that stalwart example of peace, personal freedom and tolerance, likely to withhold?

  13. Patick says:

    F-Trump and all the ignorant, racist,nationalists, white supremist who voted for that grade a scumbag

  14. Dave says:

    America is both, hateful, disgusting, frightened, racists, and we are also, loving, caring, faithful, and kind. This is what we are about, it’s who we are, anyone at anytime can only hate half the country, It’s what keeps us on the fulcrum. The trump administration is a frightened hateful group that won’t last long in power

  15. Veteran says:

    If a person lives here they are a resident, but that does not mean they are citizens. The word “residents ” in your headline is very misleading.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      Totally incorrect Veteran. The order applies to Resident Aliens, the technical if lexicographically incorrect term for Green Card holders–I know, I was one during the Reagan years, which–I can’t believe I’m saying this–now seem like the days of Augustus before Caligula.

  16. Knightwatch says:

    Pierre… remember the Dunning-Kroger syndrome! Hard to argue rationally with trumppets. They are so dumb they don’t even know it. They have fact-adverse beliefs then just rely on affirmation from their leader. That’s all they need to know.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m not a Trump lover by any means. I do love my Country. I am a veteran who will do anything for the United States and have. How is it that everyone has forgotten 911 already? I was born here as we’re my parents, but not my grandparents. This is not the same country it use to be. Back in the day, when we were attacked on U.S. ground (WWII) we fought for our country. No one gives a cheap anymore. I find it really sad. We need to get back to basics and that means taking care of our own. We can’t because too many jobs and social benefits are being paid to people from other countries. People who don’t want to take the time to learn the language or have any respect for our laws. They need to go. We can’t afford them anymore.

  18. footballen says:

    You guys act as if we have allowed sheria law into effect.

  19. The Ghost of America says:

    I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing here, anonymous veteran. It’s not that people have forgotten 9/11, they were never taught about how hitler rose to power in germany.

  20. Jim L says:

    Go Trump Go! Finally something getting done.

  21. Nancy N. says:

    Yes, anonymous, how is it that everyone has forgotten 9/11 already? It is being widely cited as the justification for this order to prevent “terrorists” from entering the country. And yet the country that the 9/11 terrorists came from – Saudi Arabia – isn’t actually on the list of banned countries. I wonder why THAT could be? I’ll give you a hint…the answer can be found at the bottom of all those wells the Saudis drill, and in our dear leader’s real estate portfolio.

    This isn’t about making America safer at all. It’s about making Dear Leader’s racist supporters happy.

  22. Katie Semore says:

    Trump is shaping up to be certifiable mental case that many knew him to be.

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