Executive Proclamation About Immigration

Yesterday, the White House issued the Executive Proclamation against immigrants/immigrants. The order is at https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-immigrants-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-economic-recovery-following-covid-19-outbreak/ .

What does the Executive Proclamation actually do? Right now–NOTHING! For weeks most US embassies and consulates have been closed for visa processing, with certain emergency exceptions including visas for health care workers. Thus, unless a case fit an embassies criteria for emergencies, the applicant was not going to get a new immigrant or nonimmigrant visa.

That situation at the embassies has no end date. In contrast, the Executive Proclamation is currently set to expire in 60 days. In 60 days, it is possible that the embassies would have been closed anyway.

The Executive Order is a pointless, useless order that serves to stoke xenophobic politics.

What could the Executive Order do? Once the embassies and consulates reopen, they should begin processing cases as “normal” (Trump “normal” includes the Travel Ban). That won’t happen if the Executive Order is in effect. The Executive Order will bar most employment-based immigration (except for EB5 investors) and most family-based immigration (except for spouses of US citizens and children of US citizens).

Who is NOT affected by the order? The order applies to people who as of April 22, 2020 are outside the US, do not have an immigrant visa, and do not have some non-visa documents to allow them to enter the US. It appears that the order does not apply to people seeking “nonimmigrant” visas.

Further exceptions to the order are lawful permanent residents of the US, medical professionals coming to the US to provide COVID healthcare services, EB5 investor visa applicants, spouses and children of US citizens (but NOT parents of US citizens) visa applicants, families of members of US armed forces, SI and SQ visa applicants, and others whom the US government deems to be worthy of entering.

If you have a case with my firm, please feel free to contact me to talk about the impact of this order. If you are not a client, please contact the office to set up a consultation about how this order affects you.