60-Day Immigration Ban May Not Apply To H1-B, Says Trump

Publish On: 22 Apr, 2020 10:02 AM | Updated   |   Shivalik  

US President Donald Trump has said that his immigration ban is going to be for less than 60 days and indicated that workers on temporary visas like H1-B for professionals could contimue to come in.

"This order will apply only to individuals seeking a permanent residency, in other words, those receiving green cards; big factor, will not apply to those entering on a temporary basis," Trump said on Tuesday while clarifying that it is for only 60 days.

He said that there would even be some exemptions to the temporary ban on immigrants.

"Some people will have to come in; obviously we have to do that, obviously even from a humane standpoint," he said.

Trump had tweeted the immigration ban on Monday night. He said that the chief order was being drafted and can probably be issued on Wednesday.

Trump said that after 60 days he and a gaggle will evaluate the necessity for any extension or modification "based on economic conditions at that point ."

An immigration lawyer, Mark Davies, said that based upon the president's comments H1-B visas for professionals and temporary visas referred to as E-2 for a category of investors and L-1 visas for workers of foreign companies transferred to work in the US are not affected. But he added, "This may change as more information emerges."

These categories of visas are temporary and don't of themselves confer permanent residence or path to citizenship.

But Davies said that the immigration ban would affect another category of visas for investors referred to as EB-5 because it work in the US are not affected. But he added, "This may change as more information emerges."

Trump said that he was solely motivated by the plight of yank workers rendered jobless by the COVID-19 epidemic.

He said, "By pausing immigration we will help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America re-opens -- so important. Would wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced by new immigrant about flown in from abroad."

Another reason he said was to assist "conserve vital medical resources for American citizens" and "protect the solvency of our health care system."

Although he denied a reporter's suggestion that he was using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to push his agenda of limiting immigration, that seemed to be what the ban was set to accomplish to a degree.

Trump has said that he wanted to finish the immigration of relatives members and has imposed a requirement for immigrants to urge insurance and prove that they will not utilise public benefits.

Many of these in the pipeline to receive green cards, especially Indians, are already legally in the US on other visas waiting for their turn.

So the ban will have a greater impact on potential immigrants in categories like relatives of citizens, especially if exemptions are carved out for those coming in on the idea of some employment categories. His mention of conserving health resources is in line with the sooner mandate he had issued for immigrants to possess insurance.

He has said that he wanted to vary the prevailing immigration system to offer preference supported merit to immigrants coming for jobs at the expense of other categories like relatives, which he wants to finish.

While he said that he was suspending immigration so as to guard American workers, the ban doesn't reach non-immigrant workers who would be taking over jobs.

He specifically said that the tens of thousands of agricultural workers who are the backbone folks farming will still be allowed to return in.

There is a category of visas referred to as H2-A to enable workers to return in per annum for agricultural and similar work which Americans won't take up in sufficient numbers.

"If anything we are going to make it easier and we are doing a process that will make it better for those worker to come into the farm," Trump said.

Especially at this point, there's a requirement for healthcare workers and Ian Brownlee, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, has said that where routine visa services were suspended visas would be processed for medical personnel already accepted in US programmes.

The immigration ban appears to be more of a sop to a neighborhood of Trump's base instead of making an enormous material difference in terms of limiting workers coming during a s Democrat Representative Don Beyer acknowledged in a tweet: "Immigration has nearly stopped and the US has far more (coronavirus) cases than any other country."

While workers on non-immigrant visas can, in theory, can come in, in reality there is a ban on travellers from 28 European countries, China and Iran, and air services have been severely curtailed from most parts of the world under a clampdown.

At an equivalent time, farm workers would be allowed in through Mexico.

The US diplomatic missions in several countries have stopped holding immigrant visa interviews, although consistent with the New Delhi embassy website it appeared that interviews were continuing while for a few categories it had been done only at the Mumbai consulate.

The immigration service has also temporarily stopped immigration interviews within the US due to the social distancing rules.

Trump had already barred asylum-seekers from coming through the Mexican border and therefore the immigration authorities are returning to Mexico anyone caught crossover illegally.