Trump’s Latest Immigration Restriction Explained

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On Monday President Trump tweeted “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” (Tweet at 10:06 pm on 4/20/20) In a tweet today, Trump stated, “I will be signing my Executive Order prohibiting immigration into our Country today.” (Tweet at 7:00 am on 4/22/20)

Important — at least from what Trump said at his daily briefing, this is not a complete shut down or suspension of immigration to the United States; notwithstanding that U.S. embassies and consulates abroad are closed as well as offices of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offering services to the public.  Those are closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Since he has not yet signed an Executive Order, for now, this is what we know about it:

  • What it does — pauses permanent residency applications for 60 days (i.e., green cards).
    • At the end of the 60 days Trump stated that he and a “group of people” will reevaluate “based on economic conditions at the time” to determine whether to lift or modify the suspension.  It is unknown what those “economic conditions” are.
    • Individuals with a pending application for adjustment of status in the United States, or applying for permanent residence from abroad, should expect to be impacted and their applications being placed “on hold” for at least 60 days.
  • What it does NOT do — it does not shut down all immigration in/to the United States. For example, it does not appear to impact individuals:
    • Entering or working in the United States on a temporary basis such as H-1B professionals, L-1 intracompany transferees, or E-2 investors.
    • Entering or studying in F-1 student status.
    • Currently working In the United States with a work permit or on the basis of a temporary non-immigrant visa.
    • With pending applications for work authorization or non-immigrant change or extensions of status that are pending with USCIS.

Stay tuned as this blog will be updated once the Executive Order is released.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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