Today, Trump signed yet another anti-immigrant Presidential Proclamation (PP) called the Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.
The PP which is ostensibly to protect American jobs during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is in fact, a pretense for this administration to further its xenophobic agenda by limiting legal immigration. We expect there will be lawsuits filed against it (as there are with almost all of Trump’s immigration policies) and we hope that it will be found unlawful and enjoined.
It is important to note that this PP does NOT apply to noncitizens already in the United States. Those in the United States who are applying for immigration benefits with USCIS are not subject to this order.
The proclamation will apply for the next 60 days, but it can be modified or extended “whenever appropriate.” The PP will take effect on April 23 at 11:59 p.m. EST and orders the following:
- Suspends entry to noncitizens who:
- are currently outside of the United States
- do not have a valid immigrant visa as of April 23 at 11:59 p.m.
- do not have an official travel document other than a visa, such as advance parole, that is currently valid, or that is to be issued after April 23, that would have permitted their entry to the U.S.
- This Presidential Proclamation does NOT apply to
- Noncitizens already in the United States
- Lawful permanent residents
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Those under 21 who are the children of a U.S. citizen or the prospective adoptee of a U.S. citizen
- Noncitizens applying to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a healthcare professional, to perform research to stop the spread of COVID-19, to perform work essential to preventing or alleviating the effects of COVID-19, and their spouses and unmarried children under 21 who are accompanying or following to join them
- Noncitizens whose entry would be in the national interest
- Noncitizens whose entry would further U.S. law enforcement objectives
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
- Applicants for the Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, and their spouses and children
- EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program applicants
- This PP does not affect the ability to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture
To sum up, the PP will have a devastating effect on those applying for employment-based green cards. It will also affect those who are applying for residency through their U.S. citizen children or lawful permanent resident spouses and parents.
We encourage folks to continue applying for immigration benefits, even in these banned categories. Firstly, this order is only temporary and we expect it may even be halted due to lawsuits. Secondly, and more importantly, even while the PP is in effect, we expect that consulates will continue processing the paperwork for these applications, even if the cases are put on hold.