Who did Trump Ban From the United States With His New Presidential Proclamation?

Note: These Presidential proclamations impact only the issuance of visas to the United States. These proclamations do not impact anyone who is seeking a change or adjustment of status on U.S. soil.

President Trump finally issued a Presidential Proclamation that had been in the rumor mills for some time.

What does the new proclamation do? First, it extends the ban on certain immigrant visas until December 31, 2020. Readers would note that the prior proclamation banned anyone consular processing for an EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, and EB-4 immigrant visa, parents of U.S. citizens, spouses and (all) children of permanent residents, adult (21 and over) children of U.S. citizens, diversity visa lottery winners and siblings of U.S. citizens.

Second, the new proclamation bans the issuance of certain work visas to the United States, which includes H-1B visas, H-2B workers, J exchange visas, L intra-company visas and any of their relatives following to join persons on these visas.

Are there exceptions? Yes, there are exceptions for lawful permanent residents, spouses and children of U.S. citizens, food supply chain workers, and non-citizens whose entry to the United States would be in the national interest.

Under what authority is Trump issuing these bans? INA sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). These are the same sections used to justify and uphold the Muslim visa bans.

How long is the ban? The visa ban will be in place till the end of the year, with the possibility of an extension. Courts have already upheld a previous proclamation designed to freeze travel to the United States amidst coronavirus concerns. Individuals in the United States who are currently in status should talk to their attorney about changing or extending status rather than consular processing.

What does it mean for individuals who are currently in the United States seeking these immigration options? This proclamation does not preclude persons who are currently in the United States in another status or H-1B/H-2/J/L status from changing, extending or adjusting their status in the United States so long as they do not depart the United States. This includes timely H-1B transfers to another company, which does not require a visa. The proclamation also does not prevent people who already have H-1B visas from traveling abroad and returning to the United States, though caution is advised and travel during this time is absolutely not recommended for public health reasons.

These proclamations are counter-productive, harmful to many Americans with family members stuck abroad, and do not actually help American workers who are out of jobs, unlike the purported claims of the administration.

Note that visa bans do not prevent or impede the filing or processing of petitions for relatives or workers, and nor do they apply to the adjustment of status process.

Persons not impacted by the bans should continue to engage with the legal process and take steps to secure lawful status for themselves and their relatives.

Photo Credit: Bradley Weber

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