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Contributions to this Column are made by Attorney Caroly Pedersen, Esq. of the American  Immigration Law Center – Call 954-382-5378

Quick Rundown Of Trump’s New Travel Ban – Who’s Affected –Who’s Not?

As expected, the Trump administration released it second “Travel Ban” last week, which would again, consistent with the first travel ban attempt, bar entry of nationals from certain predominantly Muslim countries.  The new Trump Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”  goes into effect this week on Thursday, March 16, 2017 for an initial period of 90 days. The main changes from the first ban which was rejected by the Federal Courts, is the removal of Iraq from the list of countries, explicit exemptions for U.S. Residents and Visa holders, dual nationals, those on diplomatic visas, the allowance of continued asylee/refugee status for those  previously granted such status before the ban and a temporary bar for Syrian refuges, rather than the permanent one. The new order continues to ban entry of all refugees to the U.S. 120 days.

I should also note that under the Trump Administration’s new “extreme vetting” and enhanced border security measures, nationals from most other countries should also expect more scrutiny at the airport and be aware that no electronic or media information about them is private. This means that the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) can search your social media online and any and all electronic devices you have in your possession, including IPads, Notebooks, laptops, cell phones, etc, not just for evidence of security threats, but  also of your intent to immigrate to, work in the U.S. or engage in any other activity which may be a violation of your  visitor visa. Good to know!

You can get a link to read the new travel ban and CBP website about its authorization to search you and your data by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link. 

Senator Rubio Hints About Possible Immigration Reform

In an encouraging comment, Sen. Marco Rubio recently told reporters and Fox news  commentators that he thinks it’s “going to be difficult” but that it “is possible” to make progress on immigration reform under the Trump Administration. Rubio appeared to be proposing that recent movement on Trump’s law enforcement policies and efforts to move immigration laws into a more “merit-based” system, could open a path for providing status to law abiding Immigrants, saying, “then you can do something very reasonable with the people who have been here a long time who are not gang bangers, who are not criminals, who are not a threat to public safety.”

And as a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” Sen. Rubio was involved in significant comprehensive immigration reform legislation proposed in 2013, which would have created a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.. Unfortunately the measure failed to gain the needed support in the Republican held House of Representative and did not become law. Immigration advocates are heartened at the recent statements by Rubio and other Republicans, but remain skeptical about the possibility of such a measure in the near future, given Trump’s history of contradictory positions on immigration reform. Stay tuned….

Understanding Your Risks and Protecting Your Rights!

Trump’s recent ramped up Immigration “enforcement” policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and arrests have left many Immigrants feeling fear and anxiety about their safety and security here in America, the land of Immigrants! As a result, many are making contingency plans in case of arrest and detention. And while Immigration advocates and attorneys like myself provide vital advice and assistance to many in need, for most Immigrations without legal status, current Immigration laws provide few, if any legal options. As a result, advocacy groups like the Immigrant Defense Project focus on spreading awareness of Immigrants’ rights throughout Communities in case of contact with Immigration authorities or ICE. You can download the latest IDP’s KNOW YOUR RIGHTS with ICE advisory by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link.


Question: My husband and I, along with our 2 kids came here to Florida as tourists in 2012 and my brother offered my husband a really good job in his warehouse, so we stayed here. We don’t have Florida driver’s licenses or social security cards, but we have to get around so we use your international driving permit. But for the past few months we are getting more and more worried with the new laws and hearing about all the immigration arrests on the news and are starting to feel like we and our kids aren’t safe here anymore. Last night we talked about the possibility of leaving and going home so we don’t get deported. But our concerns are that our kids will have problems adjusting back in Jamaica and are so confused about what to do. We really want to know, is it better to leave now instead of risking getting deported or better to stay in America? 

Answer: That is a very common and concerning question lately, which is not well understood by many Immigrants. First, it’s important to understand that the legal consequences of overstaying your lawful period of authorized stay (I-94) and then leaving the U.S., compared with that of being deported are about the same:

Overstaying your Visa: Once an Immigrant has remained in the U.S. for 365 days or more past their authorized stay, leaves the U.S., he or she is “barred” from re-entering the U.S. again for 10 years.

Deportation: Once an Immigrant is deported from the U.S. he or she is usually “barred” from re-entering the U.S. again for 10 years. There are lesser “bars” depending upon the circumstances, 20 years for some criminal violations and permanent “bars” others.

No attorney can legally advise you to break U.S. laws by remaining in the U.S. past your authorized stay, but it’s clear to see that the consequences of leaving the U.S.  voluntarily after being here for a year or more, compared with those resulting from deportation are the same. In many cases, Immigrants determine that the benefits of staying here and hoping for some Immigration reform in the future far outweigh the risks of being arrested and consequences of being deported. More clearly stated, many Immigrants feel that on a practical level, there is no benefit in “self deporting” and one could argue that they would be right.

So in your case, given the information provided, you would want to weigh the risks and benefits of leaving and determine what is best for your family.

You can view a more detailed review of the various Immigration “bans” by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link.



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