The administration appears to be close to issuing an executive order to broadly and temporarily suspend all immigration to the United States.
On the evening of April 20, 2020, President Donald Trump tweeted:
In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!
While the details remain unclear, initial indications are that the focus will be on restricting issuance of new visas for individuals abroad.
While the new executive order is potentially far broader in scope, immigration to the U.S. has been declining and the many temporary limitations on immigration the administration has adopted include:
- Travel is restricted at the northern and southern borders;
- Routine visa services have been suspended worldwide;
- Travel is banned due to COVID-19 from China, Iran, the 26 Schengen Zone countries, the United Kingdom, and Ireland;
- Travel Ban 3.0 restricts travel from Iran (again), Libya, Syria, North Korea, Somalia, and Venezuela;
- Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania were added to Travel Ban 3.0; and
- Visa sanctions will be enforced on countries that “deny or unreasonably delay” repatriation of their citizens, nationals, or residents during the pandemic.
At the same time, noting concerns of possible food shortages and the need for healthcare workers, the administration recently eased restrictions on H-2A agricultural workers.
Jackson Lewis attorneys will continue to monitor and report on developments.