Following President Trump’s January 27, 2017, Executive Order (EO) targeting Muslims and refugees and its subsequent suspension, AILA’s Department of State (DOS) Liaison Committee reached out to the DOS Visa Office with several questions related to provisional visa revocations, consular interview cancellations, and other impacts of the EO. On February 27, 2017, DOS responded to those questions, and among other things, confirmed that the National Visa Center (NVC) or U.S. Embassy will contact immigrant visa applicants whose visa interviews were cancelled when the EO was signed to reschedule their interview appointments. In addition, DOS stated that individuals whose visas were provisionally revoked and then reinstated as a result of the temporary restraining order (TRO) against the EO are not required to indicate on future applications that they have had a visa revoked.
NBC reports that, according to experts, ramped up enforcement measures and the threat of deportation by local authorities are likely to cause undocumented immigrants to recede from public life, which includes not accessing emergency services and not reporting crimes. In a pair of memos issued last week, DHS Secretary John Kelly directed ICE agents to greatly expand their pool of undocumented immigrants to prioritize for deportation. Stated AILA President William Stock, “[T]hese memos, which seem to treat everyone as an enforcement priority, aren’t going to make us safer, and they are already causing fear in communities across the nation.”