Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
President Trump has signed an executive order temporarily suspending certain immigrant visas as a measure to protect American jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This order comes after a staggering 26 million people have already applied for unemployment benefits.
The order, which was issued April 22 and will be effective for 60 days, bans people seeking immigrant visas from entering the country. This order applies to people who:
The executive order does not apply to some groups seeking immigrant visas. These include:
This temporary pause in immigration does not apply to those who are coming in with temporary visas. This includes those coming with temporary worker visas and tourist visas.
The order, however, requires the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security to review these visas and recommend to the president, within 30 days, what measures should be taken to ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment" of U.S. workers.
The president probably has the authority to suspend immigration during a health emergency. The proclamation specifically states this authority is vested in the president pursuant to:
“The Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 USC. 1182(f) and 1185(a), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code."
If this executive order is challenged in court, however, the president would have to show why allowing these immigrants would be detrimental to U.S. interests.
The Trump administration's response to COVID-19 has included, among other things, a number of ways to curtail entry into the country.
These measures include:
These measures, as many argue, have essentially amounted to a hold on immigration even before this executive order was issued.
What will happen to immigrant visa applications that were already filed is not yet known. What is known is people approved for green cards will not be allowed to enter the country for the next 60 days.
If you are not sure whether this order applies to you, it might be best to speak to an immigration attorney.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.