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:

Elizabeth A. Gill, Director of International Services, Office of International Engagement

The January 27, 2017 Executive Order on Immigration

President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals” on January 27, 2017.

President’s Statement

Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole delivered this message to the university community on January 31, 2017, and this message on September 5, 2017.

President Cole sent this letter to the New Jersey congressional delegation on September 11, 2017.

Updates (Last Updated: 9/7/2017)

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 sets forth a plan for phasing out DACA, which includes a limited period of time in which the DHS will adjudicate certain requests for DACA and associated applications for work permits (Employment Authorization Documents or EADs). Effective immediately, the DHS will do the following:

  • 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.

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 CLEARis 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.

Executive Orders

On March 6, 2017, the January 27, 2017 Executive Order (13769) was replaced by a new order entitled “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States”. The primary provisions of this new order that distinguish it from the January 27 order are as follows:

  • The total number of countries listed in the order has changed from seven to six; Iraq is no longer included.
  • The following previously banned categories of individuals from the six listed countries (in the “Travel Advisory” below) are now exempt from the restrictions of the order:
    • Green card holders
    • Valid visa holders
    • Dual citizens who hold citizenship in one of the six listed countries and in a country not listed in the order. Dual citizens must travel using their passport from a country not restricted by the order.
  • Syrian refugees, previously suspended indefinitely from entering, are now suspended for 120 days.
  • The language that prioritized claims from people from minority religions in their country of origin has been eliminated. 

On March 15, 2017, the day before President Trump’s revised Executive Order was to take effect, a federal court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order prohibiting the enforcement or implementation of the provisions of the Executive Order that provided for the temporary halt of the U.S. refugee program and prohibited the entry of travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. A few hours later, a federal court in Maryland also granted a nationwide preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the 90-day travel ban against travelers from the six countries.

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a Notice of Appeal from the Maryland court ruling and is seeking clarification of the Hawaii court order. More legal developments are expected to occur and this website will be updated accordingly.

For in-depth, timely information, please refer to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Travel Advisory for Nationals of Certain Countries Pursuant to Executive Orders.

Travel Advisory

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.

Travel Related to Executive Orders

Section 2 of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order “direct[s] that the entry into the United States of nationals of those six countries [listed below] be suspended for 90 days from the effective date of this order, subject to the limitations, waivers, and exceptions set forth in sections 3 and 12 of this order.” As of March 16, 2017 (the date the new order was supposed to take effect), the six affected countries are:

  1. Iran
  2. Libya
  3. Somalia
  4. Sudan
  5. Syria
  6. Yemen

According to the provisions of the order, additional countries could be added to this list at a later time. Although the order was stayed by federal judges, continuing to be vigilant is imperative. Therefore, 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, Global Education Center. 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 six countries affected by the March 6 executive order (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen), have an expired visa, 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 valid visa holder, green card holder, or holder of dual citizenship from one of the six 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).

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 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 six countries listed in Section 3(c) of the Executive Order, please e-mail International Services at for assistance.

Information and Resources

The following articles and pages should prove helpful in staying abreast of this issue:

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: 

Elizabeth A. Gill
Director of International Services
Global Education Center