Frequently Asked Questions About the January 27, 2017 Executive Order on Immigration


On Friday January 27, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an immigration-related Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” For the purpose of understanding the Executive Order, please find answers to the following Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Does the Executive Order affect me?

If you are an individual from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, or Yemen, this Executive Order may affect your ability to enter the United States. This includes, among other categories, Legal Permanent Residents, nonimmigrant visa holders, immigrant visa holders, and refugees. It also includes any individual who has a passport from one of these seven countries, even if you also have a passport from a country that is not on the list. As such, if you are an individual with ties to any of these countries, you should seek legal advice from an immigration attorney before traveling outside of the United States.


2. I am a citizen of the United States or a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States, but I was born in/am dual citizen of one of those seven countries. Will I have issues returning to the US?

With respect to Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States (green card holders), a statement released by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security deems “the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest” and states that “lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.” However, this policy has been inconsistently implemented at the various ports of entry. As such, if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident from one of the seven listed countries, you should seek the advice of an immigration attorney before traveling outside of the United States.

Similarly, with respect to dual citizens of one of the seven listed countries it is recommended that you seek advice from an immigration attorney before traveling outside of the United States.


3. What if I am afraid of being returned to my country of citizenship/birth/nationality?

The Executive Order has the effect of halting the admission of refugees into the United States for 120 days and suspending the admission of Syrian refugees until further notice. However, if you are a refugee from a country that is not listed and you are already in transit to the United States, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may agree to admit you into the United States.  


4. I just bought a plane ticket, and/or am planning to travel abroad soon but I am afraid of what can happen on my return flight. What should I do?

If you have a specific question about your situation – especially if you are traveling to one of the countries listed or are from one of the countries listed – you should contact an immigration attorney prior to leaving the United States, as it is possible that, due to the Executive Order, you may be denied entry into the United States upon your return.


Please note, the answers to the above FAQs do not constitute legal advice. If you have a specific question about your situation, it is recommended that you contact an immigration attorney, as each case is different. Additionally, please note that this situation is fluid and is subject to change at any time. We will do our best to keep this information updated as the situation changes.


The Immigrants’ and Language Rights Center (ILRC) is a branch of Indiana Legal Services, Inc. operating out of Indianapolis, Indiana.  The ILRC provides direct legal representation on qualifying immigration matters and language access cases to residents of Indiana. The ILRC hosts a state-wide intake line for people with immigration questions and those with limited English proficiency seeking legal assistance from Indiana Legal Services, Inc. If you need help with an immigration matter, or if you need help with any other civil legal issue and English is not your first language, please contact the ILRC at 1-866-964-2138 to complete an intake.



Updated February 6, 2017.


Posted: January 30, 2017