After failing to mount a successful response to COVID-19, President Trump issued an executive order limiting immigration. The stated reason for the partial ban is to protect American jobs; however, it is well documented that robust immigration helps create jobs for Americans. As such, it is likely that the President’s order will harm the economy rather than aid it.
The President’s Executive Order—like his previous orders on immigration—will almost certainly be challenged in Court. The President’s authority to “ban” immigration is not unlimited and is particularly subject to a legal attack when it is based on groundless claims like those invoked here. Barring a successful court challenge, the executive order is effective today, April 23, 2020, and is scheduled to expire in 60 days.
It is important to emphasize that the order only applies to those individuals who are OUTSIDE of the United States at the time when the order was issued. It does not apply to those individuals already inside the United States who are seeking immigration benefits (e.g., adjustment of status).
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued a summary of the executive order that outlines who will be affected by the executive order. If you have any questions about how the executive order will affect your immigration status, please call DMCA to speak to one of our attorneys. From the AILA summary:
“The proclamation becomes effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (ET), and suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who:
● Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
● Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and
● Does not have a valid official travel document (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document) on the effective date, or issued on any date thereafter that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.
The order does not apply to the following categories:
1. Lawful permanent residents (LPR)
2. Individuals and their spouses or children seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional to perform work essential to combatting, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak (as determined by the Secretaries of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or their respective designees)
3. Individuals applying for a visa to enter the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program
4. Spouses of U.S. citizens
5. Children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees seeking to enter on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa
6. Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives (as determined by the Secretaries of DHS and State based on the recommendation of the Attorney General (AG), or their respective designees)
7. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
8. Individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee (SI or SQ classification)
9. Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees).
The executive order also does not currently apply to nonimmigrant visas. The executive order also does not apply to asylum seekers.”