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What Does It Mean: Making Sense of the president's "Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants"

On April 22, 2020, President of the United States, Donald Trump, signed an order to suspend immigration into the United States temporarily. The White House published the full Proclamation after work on the logistics and legal implications of the president’s order to freeze the U.S. immigration system in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Alleging that the days between the national emergency declaration and April 11, 2020, more than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment, President Trump proclaimed the immigrant entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions. The order is in effect for 60 days and he cites Sections 212(f) as the main authority.

To date, the White House has issued the following details of the proposed Executive Order:

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 aspermanent residents and non-immigrant categories and other categories of entrants are not covered.

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 on 4/23/2020);

  • They don’t have an immigrant visa valid on the effective date; and

  • 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 healthcare 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).

The United States currently has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country, with more than 844,000; the next highest country is Spain, with 208,000 cases. Before this Proclamation the American Immigration System already adopted some actions such as:

  • canceled most routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments at its offices overseas;

  • stopped all processing for refugee resettlement;

  • taken restrictions on travel from Europe, China, and other pandemic hot spots, while implementing strict controls at the country’s land borders.

Currently, foreign nationals who have visited one of these countries in the past 14 days may not enter the United States: China; Iran; European Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City; United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland; and Republic of Ireland.

The State Department issued about 460,000 immigration visas in 2019, and USCIS processed nearly 580,000 Green Card approvals for foreigners who applied for permanent residency, the latest U.S. statistics show. This new executive order will affect hundreds of thousands of visa holders and other would-be green card recipients who are planning and preparing to come to the United States at any given time. Most of them are family members of Americans.

It is essential to know that this order is Constitutional, as there are at least two legal justifications for President Trump to close the border to all immigration: Title 42 of the U.S. Code enables the president to halt immigration for health reasons. At the same time, a 2018 U.S., The Supreme Court decision, upholding his travel ban, gives him legal precedent. This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020.

Our office can help you and your family with instructions and information during this difficult time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any immigration-related questions or concerns, as we are happy to provide free initial consultations.

About Us

The Law Office of Nicholas J. Mireles is an experienced Los Angeles based U.S.

Immigration law firm has been practicing immigration law since 2013. Our background makes us uniquely well suited to help you with any type of issue relating to your immigration status.

Law Office of Nicholas J. Mireles, APC

411 West 7th St. Ste 310 - Los Angeles, CA 90014


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