Current and Emerging Immigration Issues
If you have questions or concerns about these issues, please reach out to the University’s primary point-of-contact for immigration-related matters:
The January 27, 2017 Executive Order on Immigration
President Donald J. Trump issued Executive Order 13769 entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” on January 27, 2017.
President Cole sent this letter to the New Jersey congressional delegation on September 11, 2017.
On February 14, 2018, the University adopted this set of procedures on information regarding citizenship and immigration/visa status of students.
Updates (Last Updated: 6/11/2018)
Executive Orders and Proclamations
On September 24, 2017, the date the 90-Day Travel Ban was set to expire (other than the portion pertaining to refugees), President Trump issued Proclamation 9465 (“Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public Safety Threats”) pursuant to Section 2(e) of Executive Order 13780. Proclamation 9465 imposed country-specific restrictions on entry into the United Sates for the nationals of eight countries (Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Somalia). Although U.S. District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland partially blocked the Proclamation for a time, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) stayed the preliminary injunctions on December 4, 2017, so the full Proclamation is now in effect. This allows the U.S. government to fully enforce the travel restrictions on all eight countries.
For in-depth, timely information on developments pertaining to Proclamation 9465, please refer to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators pages Indefinite Entry Bar Under Executive Order and Executive Order Entry Ban Litigation Updates.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo rescinding the June 2012 DHS memo that established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The new memo set forth a plan for phasing out DACA, which included a limited period of time in which the DHS would adjudicate certain requests for DACA and associated applications for work permits (Employment Authorization Documents or EADs). The DHS plan was as follows:
- Keep effective all previously approved DACA and work permits (EADs) for the remaining duration of their validity period.
- Adjudicate on an individual, case-by-case basis initial, properly filed requests for DACA that were pending as of September 5, 2017.
- Reject all requests for DACA that were filed after September 5, 2017.
- Adjudicate on an individual, case-by-case basis properly filed requests for DACA renewal from those beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, as long as the requests are filed by October 5, 2017. All other renewal requests will be rejected by the DHS.
- Not approve any new or pending applications for advanced parole to travel abroad. However, the DHS will honor the stated validity period for previously approved applications for advanced parole. Remember that U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) retains the authority to determine the admissibility and eligibility for parole of anyone presenting at the border, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) retains the authority to revoke or terminate advanced parole documents.
On January 9, 2018, a U.S. District Court ordered the Department of Homeland Security to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis on the same terms and conditions as were in effect before the rescission on September 5, 2017, including allowing DACA enrollees to renew their enrollments. However, new applications from applicants who have never before received deferred action will not be processed, and DHS may still deny the right of a DACA enrollee to return to the United States if they travel abroad using advance parole. For more information, please refer to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Response to January 2018 Preliminary Injunction.
For guidance on DACA requests rejected by USCIS due to U.S. Postal Service issues, please refer to USCIS’s page Guidance on Rejected DACA Requests.
On May 9, 2018, the State of New Jersey approved Bill S699, which “allows certain students including undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria to qualify for State student financial aid programs.” For information on the details, including types of financial aid available, eligibility criteria, and application process, please refer to the Office of Financial Aid’s page Montclair State University Financial Aid for New Jersey DREAMers.
If you currently have DACA approval or a pending DACA application, please speak to a licensed, experienced immigration attorney before making any plans pertaining to work or travel. Among many options, CUNY CLEAR is an excellent resource for free legal services and guidance. In addition, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) offers extensive, up-to-date information on DACA, including general advice and support and advocacy resources. The following NILC pages provide useful information:
For more in-depth, timely information on DACA, please refer to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators DACA Resource Page.
Travel Related to Executive Orders and Proclamations
Presidential Proclamation 9465 of September 24, 2017, declares that “the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of persons described in section 2 of this proclamation would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions. ” As of October 18, 2017 (the date the proclamation was first scheduled to take effect), the affected countries are:
- North Korea
Although there are pending appeals by several U.S. District Courts, continued vigilance is imperative. The following remains important advice:
- We advise that you not seek unvetted immigration advice over the internet. We have compiled this resource page with reputable advice and links to assist you. If you have questions, please contact the University’s primary point-of-contact for immigration-related matters: Elizabeth Gill, Director of International Services, Office of International Engagement. If your situation requires the advice of immigration attorneys, among many options, CUNY CLEAR is an excellent resource for free legal services and guidance.
- If you are from one of the eight countries affected by the September 24 proclamation (Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Somalia) and you have an expired or valid visa or are a green card holder, and plan to travel, we urge you to obtain the advice of a licensed, experienced immigration lawyer prior to making travel plans. In addition, in case of an emergency, please ensure that a trusted friend or family member inside the U.S. has copies of all of your immigration documents, your flight itinerary, and your contact information before you board a plane to depart or reenter the U.S.
- If you are a U.S. citizen or holder of dual citizenship from one of the eight affected countries, your travel is not currently restricted, but please be aware that you could encounter longer-than-usual wait times at the Port of Entry (Customs).
Travel Related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
With regard to the September 5, 2017 memo from the DHS rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the following is recommended:
If you are an undocumented person (regardless of whether you currently have permission to travel abroad through advance parole), please speak to a licensed, experienced immigration attorney before making any travel plans. Among many options, CUNY CLEAR is an excellent resource for free legal services and guidance.
F-1 and J-1 Student and Scholar & H-1B Employee Information
Due to the current immigration climate, it is imperative that you closely follow the travel guidance the International Services office has compiled for you:
If you have any questions about this guidance, please contact your International Student & Scholar Services advisor for assistance; do not travel without the required documentation in hand.
Immigration Applications & Petitions
If you are a student, scholar, or employee of Montclair State who has submitted or will submit an application or petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), please be mindful that you could encounter longer-than-usual processing times, and plan accordingly. If you are in doubt as to whether you should submit a particular application or petition to USCIS, please obtain the advice of a licensed, experienced immigration lawyer.
If you are a newly admitted international student who is a citizen of one of the eight countries listed in Proclamation 9465, please e-mail International Services at email@example.com for assistance.
Information and Resources
The following articles and pages should prove helpful in staying abreast of this issue:
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators Indefinite Entry Bar Under Executive Order
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- ACLU: “Know Your Rights: What To Do If You Are Stopped By Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI”
- CUNY CLEAR Legal Services
- New Jersey Monthly Article “Saving Scholars”
- Montclair State University Financial Aid for New Jersey DREAMers
- Although some of the information is no longer applicable with the phasing out of the DACA program, this June 2017 article from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has some helpful information for undocumented students about paying for college.
Please keep in mind that the information contained on this web page and in the advisories and pages listed above does not constitute legal advice. Please speak to a licensed, experienced immigration attorney if you require legal counsel.
Counseling and Psychological Services
Students who have individual concerns are encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean of Students, and they may also take advantage of the resources offered through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), including short-term individual counseling, group therapy, psychiatry, Let’s Talk walk-in sessions, and more. Contact information for CAPS is located here.
Encounters with Government Officials
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a Department of Homeland Security (or other government agency) official, ask for the person’s full name, government agency, reporting office, and government telephone number. Then, contact the International Services office, Global Education Center, so that they can assist you in identifying the actual government office to which the person claims to belong. Once you have the actual government office’s contact information, you will be able to contact that office to find out whether the inquiry you received is a valid one or a scam. The Department of Homeland Security will never demand immediate payment from you or threaten to deport you if you do not pay a fee, so if someone tries to intimidate you with statements to that effect, it should immediately put you on alert. In addition, please refrain from providing personally identifying information (like your Social Security Number) to someone whose identity you have not been able to verify.
U.S. law provides you with specific rights whenever you are confronted by a federal, state or local law enforcement official. Please review those rights here so that you are prepared for any encounter you may have with a government or law enforcement official.
Conversation beyond Borders
International Services in the Global Education Center holds a weekly meeting called Conversation beyond Borders for international students and scholars, immigrants, and members of the Montclair State community who support them. This is a fun and casual group that encourages participants to engage in intercultural conversation. All are welcome; please contact Elizabeth Gill (information below) for this semester’s schedule.
More Information and Assistance
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the University’s primary point-of-contact for immigration-related matters: