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How Does President Trump’s “Immigration Suspension” Affect You?

How Does President Trump’s “Immigration Suspension” Affect You?

By Michael Zigismund, Esq.

President Trump’s expected Executive Order to “temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” has now been released. It has several effects, but it is more limited than many anticipated.

Here’s the breakdown.

The major rule is only for immigrants outside the United States. This does not affect anyone inside the United States. And it affects immigrants only, as opposed to “nonimmigrants.” Non-immigrants are people who intend to come to the United States, but for a temporary purpose like studying or visiting. (The Order does direct a review within 30 days of rules for nonimmigrants, so be on the lookout.)

The Order says you cannot “enter” if you seek to be an immigrant and you fulfill all three of the following requirements at 11:59pm on April 23, 2020: (1) you are outside the United States, (2) you do not have a valid immigrant visa, and (3) you do not have a travel document.

This Order lasts for 60 days, but may be extended.

If only “the entry of” immigrants is affected, then this Order has little practical impact at the moment to the extent travel has already been limited during the pandemic. Even if more than just “the entry of” immigrants is affected, for example if the processing of applications is to be stalled, then that also will little impact, to the extent that routine visa services abroad have already been suspended.

Who is affected and who is not?

The Order bars the entry of parents, siblings, and adult children of U.S. citizens. All relatives of permanent residents are barred. All employment-based immigrants are affected, except for those in the “EB-5” category.

Still, there are nine express exceptions to this Order, including:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens.
  • U.S. citizens’ children who are under the age of 21.
  • Asylum or refugee applicants.
  • Any immigrants applying from within the United States.

Other exceptions include:

  • Health professionals and their families.
  • Members of the U.S. armed forces and their families.
  • Certain categories of “Special Immigrants.”
  • EB-5 immigrants.
  • Immigrants who would benefit law enforcement or other national interests, as determined by the U.S. government.

As to the perennial question, “Can he really do that?” The answer is most likely: yes.


* Mr. Zigismund is a top rated immigration lawyer and associate at the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler. If you need further guidance on your immigration matter please contact us immediately.

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