On June 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the so-called Trump travel ban. Presidential Proclamation 9645, Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats, established an indefinite suspension on granting visas to persons from certain countries. The Court agreed that the President could exclude persons from certain countries on the basis of his decision that their entry would be detrimental to the United States. The Court’s decision also ratifies the elaborate system of exemptions and case-by-case waivers of inadmissibility that result from the ban.
Under a pilot program commencing Monday, April 30, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will offer expedited mail-in processing of L-1 intracompany transfers for Canadian executives, managers and specialized knowledge personnel. Processing will shift from the DHS agency, Customs & Border Protection (CBP), to the sister agency, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). As a trade-off, same-day, in-person processing will cease, at a minimum, at the locations known as the Blaine Port of Entry, where the six-month pilot program will be implemented. This includes the Peace Arch crossing at Blaine, Washington, at Douglas, British Columbia, and the Pacific Highway Truck Crossing. DHS officials have indicated that additional ports of entry could be added to the list prior to the commencement of the pilot program. Starting April 30, at pilot program border locations, no L-1 petitions will be accepted, and L-1 Canadians will need to present evidence of approval before they may be admitted to the U.S. there. Other CBP locations will continue same-day L-1 processing.