President Trump issued a proclamation suspending the entry of immigrants into the United States for 60 days, with some exceptions. The proclamation notes that it may be extended or modified. The proclamation states that the rationale is to address “excess labor supply” and displacement of U.S. workers. The proclamation took effect late Thursday, April 23, 2020.

The entry ban applies to those who: (1) are outside the United States as of April 22; (2) do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date; and (3) do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date or issued on any date after the effective date that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.

Excluded from the ban are lawful permanent residents; those seeking to enter the United States as physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals, to perform medical or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of, the COVID-19 pandemic; those applying for visas to enter the United States as EB-5 immigrant investors; spouses and children of U.S. citizens; members of the U.S. armed forces; and some others.

Other key points include:

  • Additional measures regarding nonimmigrant visas are possible. The proclamation directs the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to review nonimmigrant programs and recommend to the President “other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”
  • Stephen Miller, President Trump’s senior policy adviser, told White House supporters on a private call that the proclamation is intended to open the door to additional restrictions for the longer term and that “the most important thing is to turn off the faucet of new immigrant labor.” He also said, “In terms of dealing with some of these seasonal flows of guest workers and developing a strategy for that, that’s what the president directed us to do.”

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