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President Trump Tweets Intent to Suspend Immigration to the U.S. Temporarily

21 Apr

On April 20, 2020, President Trump tweeted that he plans to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States. 

His announcement on Twitter declared: “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!” 

As he has in the past, the President used the term “Invisible Enemy” in reference to coronavirus/COVID-19.  The President’s tweet suggests he intends the suspension of immigration as a means to respond to the pandemic and to protect U.S. workers. 

A Presidential executive order may follow setting forth the details of his plan.  Until then, the President has only issued a tweet and specific details are not yet known about the scope of the proposed suspension.  It is anticipated that travel to the United States and certain petitions and applications for U.S. immigration benefits to enter the United States may be suspended, with a possible exception for healthcare workers. 

U.S. immigration law authorizes the President to suspend by proclamation the admission of immigrants to the United States temporarily, but any plan to suspend immigration is likely to be challenged in court.  One or more federal courts may enjoin, or suspend, the effectiveness of the President’s proclamation. 

Many immigration services have already been suspended, such as visa applications at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad and in-person services at USCIS field offices in the United States.  To obtain more information on U.S. consulates, you can go to our Foster website at www.fosterglobal.com and click on the COVID-19 banner at the top of the page.

Other services, including adjudication times for standard petitions and applications for immigration benefits, seem to be moving more slowly.  Renewals of some EADs (employment authorization documents) are however moving more quickly as USCIS has said it will use the biometrics taken from prior biometrics appointments.  As a result, the initial and immediate impact of an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States may in practice look similar to the current state of immigration. 

If and once the executive order is published and sufficient specific details are revealed, Foster will analyze the U.S. immigration implications and will provide future updates on our website at www.fosterglobal.com and via Immigration Updates©.