Should You Travel to Haiti During the Trump Refugee Ban? 1


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Executive Action

Many people are concerned about the new immigration executive order issued by President Donald Trump on January 27, 2017. Below are some of the major points from the President’s directive.

Called EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES, the Order suspends entry into the United States of migrants from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days (excluding diplomats and certain personnel of international organizations). While allowances are made for the entry of certain individuals on a “case-by-case basis”, the impact on the millions of potential nationals from these countries is massive.

I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined…

The order suspends the admission of ALL refugees into the U.S. from anywhere in the world for 120 days, and includes the specific declaration that the entry of Syrian refugees into the U.S. is “detrimental” to national security. This effectively bans all travelers from that country indefinitely. The President also reduced the number of worldwide refugee entries into the U.S. for fiscal year 2017 to 50,000, a reduction from the 85,000 refugees who entered the U.S. in fiscal year 2016 (learn more about the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program here).


The issuance of the Order immediately impacted traveling migrants who had not made it to American soil and affected U.S. visa holders who were left stranded overseas.

Issued on a Friday, with little notice to immigration officials, the Order caused chaos early in its implementation.  Some clarification has come down, such as DHS head John Kelly’s statement that the Order does not apply to individuals with green cards. There is also an earlier federal judge’s emergency order preventing the deportation of  impacted individuals who had made it to the U.S. after the President’s declaration.


The brunt of the Order impacts entry visas for individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen wanting to enter the U.S., as well as all refugees.  Haitians traveling abroad trying to enter the U.S. from any one of the seven designated countries or who seek entry into the U.S. as refugees will be impacted. The Order does not apply to anyone leaving the U.S., so any Haitian can always return home. It does not apply to Haitians entering the U.S. from any other country other than the seven. It does however impact Haitian refugees, like all other refugees.  Haitian green card holders or those with advanced parole may reenter the U.S. with little fuss just as if the Order was not in place.

The President’s Order is temporary and the backlash it has received may cause it to be modified. Impacted individuals and all entering travelers should stand by to see if any changes occur before the 90 and 120 day Order drop offs.



About Mac-Arthur Pierre-Louis

Mac Pierre-Louis is managing attorney at Pierre-Louis & Associates, PLLC and founding editor of (@amcarilaw) & (@childsupportesq). He can be reached at (@macpierrelouis) No content on this blog should be deemed legal advice, nor does content create an attorney-client relationship. Please seek professional legal advice since this blog is for informational purposes only.

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