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Does Trump's Immigration Executive Order Impact My Foundation?

Basic Rights and Rules for Foundations working with Non-US Citizens

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Last Updated: March 17, 2017

On March 15/16, 2017 Judges in Hawaii and Maryland block the revised order

Late Wednesday night, federal district judge of Hawaii Derrick K. Watson blocked Trump’s revised order on grounds that it was “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.” He pointed to comments made by President Trump and other officials during his campaign of evidence of a religious motivation. Federal judge Theodore Chuang of Maryland also blocked the order on similar religious grounds.

On March 15, 2017 Legal challenges to the revised order were heard in Washington state, Maryland and Hawaii

Judge Robart in Washington heard a case brought by four citizens and permanent residents who argue that access to visas for their family will be disrupted by the ban; in Maryland, two refugee rights groups asked the court to block the second travel ban entirely; and in Hawaii, the state and a local imam brought a case arguing that the ban discriminates against Muslims and hurts the economy.

On March 11, 2017 US district judge James Robart declined to issue an emergency order banning Trump’s revised travel ban

Lawyers in Washington state asked Judge Robart to extent his decision on the first ban to cover the second; however, Robart said a complaint or motion would have to be filed before he could do so.

On March 10, 2017 US district judge William Conley blocked enforcement of the revised travel ban against a Syrian family seeking refuge in Wisconsin Conley issued a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement for this particular family pending a March 21 hearing.

On March 6, 2017 Trump signed a revised travel ban executive order easing up on the harsher measures in the first and narrowing its scope

The new order exempts current visa holders and removes Iraq from the list of Muslim-majority countries whose citizens are barred from entering the US.

On February 3, 2017 a temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued in response to legal challenges to President Trump’s immigration and travel-related Executive Order (EO), “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”  The TRO halts the 90-day travel prohibition against citizens and nationals of seven designated countries. 

On January 30, 2017 US district judge James Robart placed a nationwide hold on the travel ban

The following week, a three-judge panel from the Ninth US Court of Appeals in San Francisco unanimously rejected the Trump administrations bid to reinstate the travel ban.

On January 28, 2017 Protests erupted at airports across the nation

On January 27, 2017 Trump signed EO “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States”

The executive order immediately denied citizens of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) entry to the U.S. for 90 days, 120 days for refugees, and indefinitely for Syrian refugees.

What this Means for Individuals Affected by the Order

Updated March 17, 2017: The latest TRO has blocked the enforcement of the Order, meaning that immigrants and non-immigrants affected by the Order can likely enter the United States and apply for U.S. visas. There is no guarantee how long the TRO will be in effect. 

The Council has engaged the philanthropic community in Canada to identify partners who are willing to help host any individuals connected to U.S. foundations who are directly impacted by the ban and cannot re-enter the United States. Please reach out to Natalie Ross ( to learn more.

Have Exempt Organizations (Foundations and Nonprofits) Rules Changed?

Exempt organizations were not specifically addressed in the Order. If your foundation works with non-U.S. citizens (board, staff, grantees), you likely should seek legal counsel. To learn more about the United States visa process, please visit Department of State Visa Informationor U.S. Foundation Employment and Payment of Foreign National and Students(last updated in 2011). Also, review the Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions List of Specially Designated Nationals.

Are any Exempt Organizations Responding to this Order?
Impacts on International Grantmaking

The new administration has not changed international grantmaking as of this publication, even for grants supporting organizations and countries impacted by the Executive Order. As a refresher, if an organization makes grants abroad, check the Council’s global grantmaking resources:

Stay Informed

Learn about the Treasury Department’s concerns on terrorist financing. Get familiar with the Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions List of Specifically Designated Nationals List. If your international grants have been delayed for additional due diligence, the Treasury Department shares information with the goal to protect and support the charitable sector.

Understand not just the U.S. law, but also the law in the countries where you work. For more information, visit the section of our website with Country Notes: and global philanthropy information

For commentary on these issues, you may be interested in Aid Barriers and the Rise of Philanthropic Protectionism, Civil Society Platform to Ensure Civil Society is Effectively Engaged in Combatting Terrorism Financing.

What Government Resources Are Helpful to Understanding the EO on Immigration?
What is the Council Reading while Researching this Issue (abridged list)?

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