According to reporting from the Los Angeles Blade, President Trump has signed an Executive Order that temporarily restricts immigration for a period of 60 days. The plan was initially announced on the President’s Twitter account, as a characteristically vague and overwrought declaration: “I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”
In reality, the Executive Order is significantly more narrow than that tweet suggests. Further, despite his claim, it will likely not do anything to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here, our immigration attorney in Los Angeles explains the scope, meaning, and implications of President Trump’s two-month immigration moratorium.
Green Cards Issuances Halted—With Some Very Important Exceptions
President Trump’s Executive Order suspends some—but not all—green cards for a period of 60 days. Under the terms of the declaration, U.S. citizens can still apply for green cards on behalf of their spouse and young children. Additionally, an immigrant who is already living in the United States can still apply to convert their existing visa into a green card.
That being said, many immigrants who are currently living abroad—including family members of green card holders and the adult children of American citizens—may not be able to obtain a green card for two months. Many people are impacted by this Executive Order. For reference, more than 300,000 people enter the country each year on the types of green cards that are being paused for 60 days.
60-Day Moratorium Does Not Block Non-Immigrant Guest Worker Visa
The 60-day immigration moratorium does not apply to non-immigrant foreign workers. While the President’s public comments have sometimes suggested the contrary, those who are applying for a non-immigrant employment visa have not had their rights altered by the administration’s latest order.
A Political Distraction, the Coronavirus Public Health Crisis is in the United States
It is important to emphasize that President Trump’s 60-day immigration moratorium is not a public health measure—it is a political maneuver that is designed to distract from the administration’s inadequate COVID-19 response by demonizing immigrants. Immigration is not responsible for the coronavirus; a temporary suspension of green cards is not going to slow the spread.
The coronavirus is already here. Community transmission is happening in every state in the country. According to data provided by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there were already more than 850,000 cases on COVID-19 confirmed in the United States at the time President Trump signed the executive order. For reference, that is by far the most of any country in the world—four times as high as Spain, the country with the second most confirmed cases.
Call Our Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer for Help
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are strong, dedicated advocates for immigrants and immigrant rights. Observing all of the recommended health and safety protocols, our law firm is fully operational during the COVD-19 outbreak. For a completely confidential, remote initial consultation, please call our Los Angeles office today.