Trump signs proclamation suspending immigration for the next 60 days – Who Will Be Affected

by Cristina A. Godinez, Esq.

NEW YORK – The Proclamation will primarily affect those who are currently outside the U.S. It will not affect several groups, notably green card holders, spouses and children of U.S citizens and COVID 19 healthcare workers.
The suspension will take effect on 11:59 pm EST today, April 23, 2020.
The suspension and limitation on entry to the U.S. applies to the following groups of foreigners on the effective date of the Proclamation:

  • those outside the U.S.;
  • those who do not have a valid immigrant visa;
  • those who do not have an official travel document (such as an advance parole, boarding foil or transportation letter) issued on the effective date or any date thereafter permitting travel to the U.S. and seek entry or admission.

The suspension and limitation on entry does not apply to the following:
GREEN CARD HOLDERS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS

  • those who are lawful permanent residents (also known as ‘green card holders’);  
  • those seeking asylum or refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture;

CLOSE FAMILY OF U.S. CITIZENS

  • foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen;
  • children of a U.S. citizen under 21 years or a prospective adoptee of a U.S. citizen under IR-4 and IH-4 classification;

COVID-19 HEALTHCARE WORKERS 

  • 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 COVID 19 medical research or to perform COVID 19 essential work (as determined by the Secretary of State or Secretary of Homeland Security);  

U.S. ARMED FORCES

  • Members of U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children;

LAW ENFORCEMENT OR NATIONAL INTEREST 

  • those whose entry would further law enforcement objectives of the U.S. as determined by the Secretary of State or Secretary of Homeland Security;
  • those whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State or Secretary of Homeland Security;

EB-5 and SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICANTS  

  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa applicants; and
  • Individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator or U.S. government employee.

More takeaways:
Nonimmigrant visa holders are not included in the proclamation. However, the proclamation requires that within 30 days of the effective date, the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and recommend to the President other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers. 
Prioritized Removal (Deportation). Individuals who circumvent the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation or illegal entry will be prioritized for removal. 
Expiration. The proclamation expires 60 days from its effective date and may be continued as necessary. Within 50 days from the effective date, the Secretary of DHS shall, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor, recommend whether the President should continue or modify the proclamation. 

(Editor’s Note: The information provided in this report was gathered by the author as a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.)

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