Written by Malinda Schmiechen, Attorney at Aust Schmiechen
Four yellow sticky notes lay on my desk with the following notations:
- “Travel Ban 1&2 for Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen”
- “Sanctions against Cambodia (no B visas), Eritrea (no B visas), Guinea (no B, F, J or M visas), Sierra Leone (no B visas).
- “October 9, 2017 – Turkey – NO non-immigrants” (Now limited services since Nov. 6, 2017)
- “TB 3 for Syria, Venezuela, Somalia, Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Yemen”
2017 Recalcitrant Countries
- Uncooperative Countries: Burma, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Guinea, Hong Kong, Iran, Laos, Morocco, South Sudan, Vietnam
- Countries At Risk of Non-Compliance: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Burkina Faso, Burundi, DR Congo, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe 
- October 24, 2017: another 90 day review for refugees from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
I realize, the Trump Administration is trying to close our borders. Through the use of presidential executive orders, proclamations, and sanctions new names of countries frequently appear on my desk. Presidents have issued visa restrictions against countries before, but not to this extent. For example, in 2001 President Bush authored an executive order restricting visas for Burmese senior leaders to promote human rights in Burma. But our current President Trump uses visa restrictions in the name of national security.
I anticipate the lists of countries on my sticky notes to grow. Specifically, I expect the President to use ICE’s list of Recalcitrant Countries to punish individuals from these countries from entering on non-immigrant visas such as B1/B2 Tourist Visas or F-1 Student Visas.
This represents the closing of our borders through visa restrictions, not to mention the building of a physical barrier on our Southern Border.
Still, it is naïve to believe that policing our national boundaries virtually and physically will stop the movement of people. I have been an immigration lawyer for over twelve years now. Each time I meet a new client, I am fascinated with how the person entered the country. Some, come to the United States on tourist or student visas and simply remain. Others, cross into the United States from our border with Mexico through underground tunnels or with documents that are not their own. Still more, enter into the United States from logging ships docked on our Eastern shores where they hide in a closet as the ship travels across the Atlantic. More hide in the backs of truck cabs that crisscross the Canadian/U.S. border. A few even canoe from Canada to Minnesota by way of Lake Superior. The border walls and border patrol were unable to stop these people, all of whom entered the United States without a visa that allowed them to remain permanently, or with no visa at all.
My clients, like so many others who come to the United States, come to be in a country they view as safer than their own. They come for love. They come to practice their profession or learn a new skill. Or, like the Dreamers, they come because their parents brought them.
The non-issuance of visas to people from the banned countries or a physical barrier on our Southern border will not stop the movement of people into our country. Yet, I still expect my list of banned countries to grow. 129 out of 194 countries to go.
 See Exec. Order No. 13,769 and Exec. Order No. 13,780 (“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”).
 Ron Nixon, Trump Administration Punishes Countries That Refuse to Take Back Deported Citizens, New York Times (Sept. 13, 2017), https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/13/us/politics/visa-sanctions-criminal-convicts.html.
 U.S. Dep’t of State, Press Statement, (Nov. 6, 2017), https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/11/275326.htm.
 See Proclamation No. 9645, 82 Fed. Reg. 186 (Sept. 27,2017) (Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats).
 Recalcitrant countries are those countries identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as uncooperative in allowing for the repatriation of their citizens who are ordered removed by the U.S. government, i.e, these countries are failing to provide travel documents to these citizens so they can return to their country of citizenship. See U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Security, ICE Releases Updated List of Recalcitrant Countries (May 16, 2017), https://www.numbersusa.com/print/news/ice-releases-updated-list-recalcitrant-countries. See also Stephen Dinan, Trump Presses More Countries Take Back U.S. Deportees in Immigration Success, The Washington Times (May 16, 2017), https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/may/16/countries-refusing-us-deportees-cut-from-20-to-12/.
 Krishnadev Calamur, Trump’s New Refugee Policy Targets these 11 Countries, The Atlantic (Oct. 25, 2017), https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/10/us-refugees-11-countries/543933/.
 3 C.F.R. 2001 Comp., p. 887-91 (April 12, 2001). (discussing conditions in Burma and the U.S. policy regarding Burma from Sept. 28, 2000 through March 27, 2001 in support of its plan to implement Section 570 of Public Law 104-208).
 See generally Proclamation No. 9645, 82 Fed. Reg. 45161 (Sept. 24, 2017) (Discussing Executive Order 13780 and its effects); see also President Donald J. Trump Strengthens Security Standards for Traveling to America, The White House (Sept. 24, 2017), https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-strengthens-security-standards-traveling-america/.
 See generally Exec. Order No. 13767, 82 Fed. Reg. 8793 (Jan. 25, 2017).