Trump Signs Executive Order Suspending Entry of Immigrants into the United States
President Trump signed an executive order titled, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.” The order comes on the heels of a very dramatic tweet late Monday evening where Trump first announced that he would be signing an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States. After much speculation across the immigrant community as to what the content of this “announcement” specifically meant, we now have clarification.
Key Aspects of Executive Order
The Executive order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020 and will expire 60 days from its effective date. The order also states that it may be continued as necessary.
The suspension and limitation on entry will apply only to individuals who:
- Are outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;
- Do not have an immigrant visa (aka green card) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and
- Do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.
The Executive Order will apply to those individuals applying for an immigrant visa, meaning a green card, at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad. It is important to note that this does not apply to individuals applying for Adjustment of Status in the United States. Additionally, the Executive Order will not apply to temporary work visa holders (e.g. H-1B, TN, L-1, etc.).
Further, within 30 days of the effective date of the order, nonimmigrant programs will be reviewed and recommendations will be made regarding additional measures appropriate to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure U.S. workers are prioritized during this time.
The suspension and limitation on entry will not apply to:
- Any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
- Any alien seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees; and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such alien who are accompanying or following to join the alien;
- Any alien applying for a visa to enter the United States pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program;
- Any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen;
- Any alien who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
- Any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;
- Any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces;
- Any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose, and any spouse and children of any such individual; or
- Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
Reddy & Neumann, P.C. will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide updates to guide you through this difficult time. If you have questions, you may schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at https://appointments.rnlawgroup.com/
By Krystal Alanis
Krystal Alanis is a Partner at Reddy & Neumann P.C. She acts as the Managing Attorney for the firm's PERM Labor Certification Department, where she oversees all EB-2 and EB-3 employment based green card matters. She also guides employers and individuals through the I-140 and Adjustment of Status process, assists clients with non-immigrant visa petitions (e.g. H-1B, TN, L-1, etc.), and advises her clients on I-9 compliance issues.