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Old Sep 10, 17, 12:29 pm
  #556
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I've heard from a reliable source that State advised an Iranian applicant in Abu Dhabi several hours ago that the worldwide cap of 50k visas for the 2016 DV cycle was reached overnight. It's not entirely surprising that 50k would be reached before 9/30 this year, given that State exercised its right to hold a second draw in this year's cycle for whatever reason.

This appears to be a rather convenient development for State, as the current NILC case on behalf of Iranian and Yemeni DV winners should now be moot. We won't be able to see whether State would have been willing to act on these cases in the window between the end of the 90 day review period and 9/30, as there are no longer any lottery visas left to hand out.

Fortunately, my family is now fully settled in the US and unaffected by today's news. Yet, I find it disturbing to know that some cases are now denied that could have, at least in theory, squeaked by had the Supreme Court not partially lifted the stay of 13780 and/or had State and its contractors done more to speed along the process.
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Old Sep 12, 17, 8:56 am
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To clarify the post above, it now appears that the cap of 3,500 visas from any one particular country may have been hit for Iran rather than the worldwide 50k limit. It's my understanding that the Iranian applicants were turned away at the gate by State's security contractor (G4S), which itself is staffed by, shall we say, individuals with a surprisingly limited ability to communicate in fluent English. I'm still unsure of some of the details of what happened on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

If that is the case, the Yemenis being represented by NILC may be able to proceed with their claim.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 6:05 am
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SCOTUS action on refugees:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...=.904f023fbfd3

Refugees having a relationship with a refugee agency in the US isn't considered a bona fide relationship, according to a SCOTUS determination that had no recorded dissent amongst the Justices.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 2:24 pm
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It seems like the ban is to be expanded in some ways to cover even more countries -- possibly up to 9 countries.
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Old Sep 24, 17, 7:13 pm
  #560
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In The New York Times:
New Order Bars Almost All Travel From Seven Countries (Permalink)

***

Starting next month, most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea will be indefinitely banned from entering the United States, Mr. Trump said in a proclamation released Sunday night. Citizens of Iraq and some groups of people in Venezuela who seek to visit the United States will face restrictions or heightened scrutiny.

***

Officials described the new order as a much more targeted effort than the president’s earlier one. Each of the countries will be under its own set of travel restrictions, though in most cases citizens of the countries will be unable to emigrate to the United States personally and most will be barred from coming to work, study or vacation in America.

Iran, for example, will still be able to send its citizens on student exchanges, though such visitors will be subject to enhanced screening. Certain government officials of Venezuela and their families will be barred from visiting the United States. Somalis will no longer be allowed to emigrate to the United States, but may visit with extra screening.

***
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Old Sep 24, 17, 8:52 pm
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Well, this was worse than I expected, even if I can't really claim to be totally surprised by anything at this point in the Trump administration.

Once again, there was no meaningful opportunity for public comment and the "flawless" roll-out includes significant confusion among visa applicants.

A few interesting points I saw upon first read were an acknowledgment/admission that "foreign policy" interests beyond security alone guided decision making this time around, the fact that undue hardship will have to be demonstrated by the alien visa applicant rather than USC family members (that will certainly add a level of burden above and beyond 13780 for the Persian and other communities in the US), and that there will be some standardized form of special screening (presumably something more than the DS-5535) for those permitted to enroll in student and exchange programs from Iran.

I'm at a loss. The concession for student and exchange NIVs for Iran coupled with the adoption of what looks to me like an even tougher "undue hardship" standard for family reunification is not an outcome I would have anticipated. I never got to file the extreme hardship petition I had prepared for Embassy Abu Dhabi thanks to the injunctions blocking 13780, but seeing how other federal agencies define an "undue" level of hardship suggests that State may be gearing up to fight with folks like myself who just happen to fall in love with someone with the wrong passport.

If we're really going down this road, I know of cases where USCs may end up being tempted to move to Iran. I can think of at least one highly educated USC with a profile that don't seem too far off from that of Xiyue Wang who would fall into this category. I sincerely hope that Secretary Tillerson understands the sorts of predicaments that some citizens may find themselves in as a result of this.

I'm sure I'll have more reactions shortly. I'll be very interested to read the documents that must have been generated as part of the review process whenever State clears the FOIA requests that one hopes they are getting as a result of this.
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Last edited by lonelycrowd; Sep 26, 17 at 10:22 am Reason: I misread part of the proclamation; it's a *little* less severe in reality than I initally understood.
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Old Sep 25, 17, 4:08 pm
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EO 3.0 was done to replace 2.0 to try to kill the chances of SCOTUS reviewing the constitutionality of the President's "Muslim ban".
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Old Sep 26, 17, 12:51 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
EO 3.0 was done to replace 2.0 to try to kill the chances of SCOTUS reviewing the constitutionality of the President's "Muslim ban".
Seconded. I think there will be a rolling series, no one in effect long enough to get to the Supreme Court.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 2:34 pm
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It looks like interest in this thread is waning a bit as I guess we are all getting worn out by this saga, but there was another surprising twist on the diversity visas today:

Politico: Lottery visa case could unmoot SCOTUS fight

None of the coverage I'm reading so far notes that the per-country cap of 3,500 visas was already hit for Iran. However, the correspondence I've seen so far with 2016 diversity visa winners was very clear that State lacked the legal authority to issue any further visas for Iran as the cap was hit on or around September 10th and, as is typically the case with State, the department takes no responsibility for how its own competence with respect to scheduling appointments and conducting "administrative processing" may ultimately affect visa eligibility under the INA. It would seem unprecedented for a district judge to effectively force State to raise the statutory cap, even if just for the named plaintiffs, but then again a lot of unprecedented events have been unfolding lately...

Last edited by lonelycrowd; Sep 29, 17 at 4:45 pm Reason: Overreliance on spell check
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Old Sep 29, 17, 5:28 pm
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Another development today, this one quite a bit more predictable than the ruling about diversity visas:

Washington Post: ACLU and others to challenge latest travel ban

Not at all surprising, considering that Judge Chuang has already ruled once against the government on this matter. Moreover, opposition to the "Muslim ban" has been a prominent theme in the ACLU's very successful fundraising efforts this year, so it's logical that they would want to lead the way on this one.

Last edited by lonelycrowd; Sep 29, 17 at 5:40 pm
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Old Oct 10, 17, 11:06 pm
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The Supreme Court dismissed the case that originated in the Fourth Circuit today. It looks like dismissal of the Ninth Circuit case may be imminent, too.

The headline in USA Today suggests that this is a victory for the President, though I think "not a defeat" is arguably more accurate.

I'm not sure exactly what this means for those who would be barred by the 9/24 Proclamation. This is speculation, but my gut instinct is that a TRO or preliminary injunction from a district court may be a better bet for opponents of the Proclamation in the short run than rolling the dice with the Supreme Court would have been. Judge Watson's ruling in March was scathing in its criticisms of the administration, so I'm rather doubtful that the policy review process leading to the 9/24 Proclamation (which we still know painfully little about) would satisfy his skepticism about its origins.
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Old Oct 17, 17, 2:23 pm
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Reports indicate that an injunction or TRO has been issued by Judge Watson in Hawaii, giving another window for blacklisted individuals to apply for visas irrespective of their ties to the US. In another indication that this judge may be particularly focused on the religious discrimination angle, he is letting the "ban" on North Korea and certain individuals in Venezuela stand for now.

This comes after Judge Watson attempted to get access to the report that followed the worldwide review of visa security and information sharing prompted by 13780. State/DOJ apparently insisted that the documents that supposedly led to the 9/24 Proclamation are classified.
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Old Oct 17, 17, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by lonelycrowd View Post
Reports indicate that an injunction or TRO has been issued by Judge Watson in Hawaii, giving another window for blacklisted individuals to apply for visas irrespective of their ties to the US. In another indication that this judge may be particularly focused on the religious discrimination angle, he is letting the "ban" on North Korea and certain individuals in Venezuela stand for now.

This comes after Judge Watson attempted to get access to the report that followed the worldwide review of visa security and information sharing prompted by 13780. State/DOJ apparently insisted that the documents that supposedly led to the 9/24 Proclamation are classified.
Sensible. His Flatulence tacked a few legitimate things on to disguise the fact that it's anti-Muslim. The judge saw through that.
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Old Oct 18, 17, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by lonelycrowd View Post
Reports indicate that an injunction or TRO has been issued by Judge Watson in Hawaii, giving another window for blacklisted individuals to apply for visas irrespective of their ties to the US. In another indication that this judge may be particularly focused on the religious discrimination angle, he is letting the "ban" on North Korea and certain individuals in Venezuela stand for now.

This comes after Judge Watson attempted to get access to the report that followed the worldwide review of visa security and information sharing prompted by 13780. State/DOJ apparently insisted that the documents that supposedly led to the 9/24 Proclamation are classified.
I am reasonably certain that once this hits the SCOTUS, it will also be tossed. The essentials are the same for the most part - at least in terms of supporting reasoning, and the information that they will use in running this up the appeal chain. The simple fact is the powers have been fairly clearly granted to the POTUS office to make these changes - there may be a way to convince juries, or Justices that the reasoning behind the changes is "wrong". The current changes will have sufficiently worded reasoning, backed with intel reports and such, and will most likely be allowed by the SCOTUS as it sits now. Of course, this does not mean that something may change that course, but I do not see that there is sufficient evidence of bias, nor a compelling reasoning to set precedent against the POTUS prerogative in this case. IMHO...
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Old Oct 19, 17, 4:15 pm
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The case being sidelined by SCOTUS earlier was over an EO version being moot. That's not an applicable reason at the current time -- much as some supporters of a "Muslim-ban" want to have it all while trying to claim that POTUS has no limitations in foreign affairs when using a fig leaf (and easily pierced veil) of "national security". Implicit in the argument claiming this will go the same way at the SCOTUS level: the current EO version ends up replaced too. Talk about a failed policy.
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