Last night, President Trump issued a Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak. The proclamation is effective 11:59 pm EDT on April 23, 2020 for an initial period of 60 days, and is subject to extension.
The proclamation only applies to persons seeking to enter the U.S. as permanent residents who:
The proclamation does not apply to:
The following individuals are exempted from the proclamation:
The Proclamation also does not apply to immigrants seeking asylum or entry on certain humanitarian grounds. Consular officers have discretion to determine who qualifies for an exemption from the order.
As indicated above, the immediate impact of the proclamation is limited by the relatively narrow scope of the covered individuals and travel restrictions already in place due to COVID-19. However, the proclamation directs the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review nonimmigrant programs in the next 30 days and recommend “other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.” If the proclamation is extended or expanded, there may be broader impacts and delays in processing of immigrant visas (i.e., green card applications) for foreign national employees or prospective employees living abroad applying for permanent residence.
Note that executive actions that lack statutory authority or a sufficient nexus to national security are likely to face significant legal challenges as well as strong resistance from Congress, employers, business groups, universities and immigration advocates. Nonetheless, employers should expect the Administration to advance additional restrictive measures impacting other visa types in the weeks ahead. We therefore encourage all employers to engage their local Members of Congress to ensure that your interests are represented.