The Trump Executive Orders on Immigration and Refugees: Opening a Thread and Sources of Information

There will be much to report about Donald Trump’s Executive Orders relating to immigration enforcement and refugees over the coming weeks and months.

Receiving most attention at the moment are the literally dozens of court cases challenging the ban on the admission of persons from seven predominantly Muslim countries and suspension of the U.S. refugee program. Yesterday, the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a decision by a Seattle, Washington district court granting a nationwide Temporary Restraining Order that suspended enforcement of these aspects of one of the Executive Orders.

Beyond these court cases, the three Executive Orders raise a multitude of other legal and policy issues. These include: a more than 50% reduction in overall refugee admissions for the current fiscal year (from the 110,000 set by President Obama to 50,000) and instructions to federal departments to impose mandatory detention policies for persons attempting illegal entry to the U.S., to construct a physical wall at the southwest border and to withdraw federal funds to “sanctuary” cities and counties.

The Executive Orders can be found here:

  1. Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States (Jan. 25, 2017)
  2. Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements (Jan. 25, 2017)
  3. Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States (Jan. 27, 2017)

The University of Michigan Law School has created a website that includes the legal papers in the cases related to the Executive Orders.

And the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program has issued a detailed report on the impact of the Orders on asylum-seekers in the United States.

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We are opening a thread on the Forum for posts on the Executive Orders.  Please send submissions to

4 thoughts on “The Trump Executive Orders on Immigration and Refugees: Opening a Thread and Sources of Information

  1. Pingback: President Trump’s Immigration ban: Unlawful Executive Orders and Bureaucratic Resistance | Forced Migration Forum

  2. Pingback: Read the concurring and dissenting opinions from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals | Forced Migration Forum

  3. Fixing U.S. Immigration System: Enforcement vs. Reform

    Everybody agrees that U.S. immigration system is broken but there is a disagreement on how to fix it. There is a group of people who thinks immigration enforcement is the way to fix the broken system and there is a group who thinks immigration reform is the only long term solution to the broken immigration system.

    U.S. already spends close to 4 billion dollars in border security. Despite that, there are still people crossing the border. Not only that, it’s been said that more money is needed to track and deport the undocumented immigrants from the country. Out of 480,000 people who overstayed their visas in 2015 only 10,000 were under investigation by immigration agents because 4 billions dollars wasn’t enough money for that. So effective enforcement of the current immigration system is very costly and impossible. Trying to enforce immigration in 1986 failed. In 1986 president Ronald Raegan signed a bill “Immigration Reform and Control Act 1986” hoping to fix the immigration system once and for all. The bill signed by president Raegan famously provided a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that were living in the USA at that time and in the meantime aimed at securing the border (enforcement) to stop the unauthorized entry of the immigrants and also put forward employers restrictions in hiring undocumented immigrants to discourage illegal immigration. But the bill failed to address the growing demand the US labor market. As the result, despite border security enhancements and employer restrictions large number of people kept on crossing the border for work.

    when it comes to “Immigration reform” it’s been clear that only focusing on “enforcement” or giving “amnesty” (a path to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants) is not enough. It is very important that the reform should also include massive changes in visa regulations. Visa caps should be increased and adjusted based on the demand of the labor market. The current H2A and H2B visa program for temporary seasonal and non-seasonal workers should be simplified and made easier for both the employers and the foreign workers. One of the biggest problem of these visa programs are they are heavily regulated and time consuming. Employers have to go through a long and costly process to bring the foreign workers into the United States. On top of that these visas expires in a year or even less. There is an option to renew the visa but there is no guarantee that the request for the renewal will be approved. These visas can be renewed for maximum of three years. The duration of these visas needs to be increased.

    The main driving force behind the immigration is the strong demand in the labor market. Until the immigration policy is changed to address the demand of the labor market there is always going to be unauthorized immigration in the USA and trying to enforce the immigration will continue to fail and become more expensive.


  4. Pingback: Check out the podcast of a panel with experts on Trump’s Executive Orders | Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility

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