The President signed a new proclamation banning the entry of a number of new classes of individuals citing the impact immigrants have on the labor market during a period of high unemployment and the need to preserve State Department resources so consular officers can service US citizens abroad. He also alleges that immigrants strain our health care system.
The order is in effect for 60 days and he cites Sections 212(f) as the main authority. He also cites other sections of the US Code that don’t really impact the scope of this order and because 212(f) is the main authority cited, it means the focus is on visas and people entering the US from abroad via Consular Processing. Section 212(f) permits the President to bar the entry of immigrants and classes of immigrants he deems to be detrimental to the United States.
In other words, this new rule should NOT have an impact on anyone that is already inside the United States, which will come as a relief to many.
It will also mean that almost no cases will be impacted because US embassies have already been closed for weeks now without any new immigrant visas being issued in the first place.
As we suspected, this is Trump making a 2020 Campaign move, not a real policy that is going to have any additional effect on what is already the current state of affairs.
This is merely an attempt to change the news cycle away from Trump's failures. It has nothing to do with protecting "American jobs" as the door remains open to all non-immigrant work visas.
Section 1. Suspension and Limitation on Entry. – The section broadly states that the entry into the US of aliens as “immigrants” is suspended. This means people seeking to come in as permanent residents and non-immigrant categories and other categories of entrants are not covered.
Section 2. Scope of Suspension and Limitation on Entry.
The suspension covers people if the following criteria are met:
- They’re outside the US on the effective date of the proclamation (11:59 pm – 4/23).
- They don’t have an immigrant visa valid on the effective date.
- They don’t have an official travel document other than a visa.
The following categories are exempt:
- Any lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
- People seeking to enter the US on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other health care professional, to perform medical research intended to combat the spread of COVID, or to perform work essential to combating recovering from or alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by DOS or DHS.
- EB-5 immigrant investors
- Spouses of US citizens
- Children under 21 of US citizens or prospective adoptees
- People who further important US law enforcement objectives, as determined by DOS or DHS
- Members of the US Armed Forces or their spouses and children
- Special Immigrants (including Iraqi and Afghani translators and religious workers)
- People whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by DOS or DHS. Potentially, this could include EB-2 national interest waiver recipients.
Section 3. Implementation and Enforcement.
The consular officer makes the determination if an individual is eligible for one of the exemptions in Section 2. DOS and DHS may set the procedures to carry this out. People circumventing this through fraud or willful misrepresentation shall be a priority for removal.
This order doesn’t impact people seeking asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
Section 4. Termination.
The proclamation expires 60 days from tomorrow, but may be continued “as necessary”. A recommendation on continuing must be provided by the Secretary of Homeland Security (in consultation with DOS and DOL) within 50 days.
Section 5. Effective Date.
11:59 eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020.
Section 6. Additional Measures.
Within 30 days of the effective date, DOL and DHS, in consultation with DOS, shall review nonimmigrant programs and make recommendation to stimulate the US economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of US workers.
Section 7. Severability.
If the courts throw out any part, it’s the intention to continue on with the rest or the order.
Section 8. General Provisions.
Boilerplate language regarding complying with budget and other rules.