04 Jan White House Adds to Immigrants Year of Misery
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 1, 2020: In the last days of his presidency, Donald Trump has issued a Proclamation extending for 90 days the U.S. government’s suspension of certain green cards and temporary work visas.
The executive order, issued on Thursday, December 31, 2020, formally extends Proclamation 10014 dated April 22, 2020, and Proclamation 10052 dated June 22, 2020. Both were set to expire on the last day of 2020.
The Proclamation asserts that these measures remain necessary because “the United States faces a potentially protracted economic recovery with persistently high unemployment if labor supply outpaces labor demand.”
The new Proclamation suspends visa issuance by US Consulates of the following green card categories: (a) spouses and minor children of Lawful Permanent Residents; (b) parents of US Citizens; (c) siblings of US Citizens; (d) EB1 extraordinary ability workers, academics and multinational managers; (e) EB2 and EB3 professionals and skilled workers.
It should be noted that US Consulates have interpreted these prohibitions broadly, and have refused to grant K-1 visas for fiances/fiancees because it is a pathway to a green card in the US through marriage to a US Citizen.
The following green card categories remain exempted from the Proclamation: (a) spouses and minor children of US Citizens; (b) EB5 investors; (c) certain immigrants who further the national interest as determined by the US Department of State, and (d) persons seeking to the enter the US as physicians or nurses to perform work related to alleviating the effect of the COVID19 crisis.
Additionally, the Proclamation continues to suspend issuance of the following temporary work visas to the U.S.: (a) H1B skilled worker visas; (b) L1A or L1B visas for multinational transfers; (c) H2B non-skilled visas, and (d) J-1 trainee visas.
The new Proclamation does not apply to persons who already have obtained green cards. Similarly, it does not apply to persons who already have obtained H1B, L1A, L1B, H2B or J-1 visas and are simply renewing such visas. Further, it does not apply to persons who are lawfully present in the U.S. and are applying for, or are already in the processing of obtaining adjustment of status before USCIS.
The new Proclamation officially expires on March 31, 2021, though it is likely to be revoked by President-elect Biden upon taking office starting on January 20, 2021.
The reasons for revoking the Proclamation are straightforward: (1) it is based on the false assumption that immigrants only take jobs away from local workers and do not create any jobs; (2) it creates an severe burden on families that are forced to remain separated because they cannot obtain visas — even if they have been waiting for years and followed all legal requirements, and (3) it harms employers that — through great effort and expense — pursue the hiring of a foreign worker through US Labor Department and US Department of State requirements, and cannot obtain the benefit of the worker’s talents.
Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of donosolaw.com.