Immigration lawyer Arda Beskardes explained the effects of President Donald Trump’s currently suspended executive order with the help of International Student and Scholar Services on campus in the W.E.B. building on Feb. 16.
Initially, Beskardes argued that the order was “not simply a muslim ban.” He broke the executive order into three parts and spoke about what else could be done by both the Trump administration and the court system.
Firstly, the order stopped nonimmigrant visas applying to tourists, students, and workers that have spouses or dual citizenships from seven countries until April 27.
Immigrant visas applying to people wishing to stay indefinitely were also not allowed to all people coming from Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan.
The order also lowered the immigration quota made by the United States by 50 percent and ordered all visa interviews to happen in person.
Before being temporarily restrained, it also stated that refugees from Syria are prohibited indefinitely unless those Syrians are part of a minority group, and other refugees are suspended from entering the country for at least 120 days.
In the case of the temporarily suspended order, the term refugees applies to all foreigners outside of the United States who believe harm will come to them in their home country whereas asylum applies to people already in the United States who wish to remain in the country.
Beskardes said the two main problems with the executive order issued Jan. 27 was the lack of resources given to the State Department on how to handle the backlash resulting from the new law and a violation of due process for the people already on airplanes into the United States.
Additionally, Beskardes said the use of the word “people” instead of “citizens” is what detained people with a dual citizenship and caused the chaos covered by the media.
According to the immigration lawyer, Trump’s administrative violation of due process is what won the American Civil Liberties Union and other help services for immigration the case to temporarily overturn the order.
The “issue of due process,” not constitutionality was what convinced a Republican nominated judge to support the case of the ACLU, some states and other immigration services, said Beskardes.
In the case of New York, Beskardes said the majority of people detained in airports enter the country within 48 hours.
The Trump administration justified passing the order by claiming they needed time to fix the immigration process, to make for safer and smoother transitions. The appeal filed by Trump’s lawyers did not succeed in overturning the restriction.
For now, Trump’s options on this issue are to either draft a new order or appeal the case to the Supreme Court. The option to appeal to the Supreme Court may take years, but in the meantime the government is looking for a ninth member to replace the recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Drafting a new order would allow President Donald Trump to add to the number of countries in the original executive order, as well as extend the 90-day waiting period.
While the restriction on the order is in place, people may still apply for visas and refugees may be admitted into the United States.
For CUNY students studying, residing, or living in the United States, the lawyer recommends not leaving the country unless it is an absolute emergency or a critical event.
Furthermore, students should refrain from being discouraged by individual stories and check their sources when discussing immigration cases on discrimination. As an example, he ended the lecture speaking about the case of a Muslim woman deported for working illegally, although it was initially told to him as if it was a case of religious discrimination.
Lastly, Beskardes said visas should be renewed as soon as possible and clarified that domestic travel was unaffected. As long as legal immigrants abide by the law and have not committed criminal offenses, they are not at risk of deportation.
The office for International Student and Scholar Services has included the seminar on its Facebook page for all those who may have missed it.