President Trump Announces Intent to Suspend Immigration to U.S.

On April 20, 2020, President Trump announced his intent on Twitter to issue an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States as a means of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting U.S. jobs. Details of the promised suspension – including its effective date – were not immediately disclosed.

The Administration has already instituted several immigration measures in its response to the pandemic, including bans on travel from China, Iran, the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as restrictions on nonessential travel through the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico land borders. Most visa services at U.S. consulates abroad have been under suspension since mid-March, as have in-person services at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services local offices and Application Support Centers.

The scope of the promised executive order – including whether it will affect immigrant and nonimmigrant visa issuance, foreign national entry through U.S. ports, or immigration benefits processing within the United States – is not yet known. According to some reports, the order is not expected to make significant changes to existing Trump Administration immigration restrictions. It will reportedly contain exemptions for agricultural and healthcare workers, but it is not yet known whether there will be further exemptions or waivers from the suspension.

McCown & Evans is closely monitoring developments in the wake of the President’s announcement and will issue further client updates as new information becomes available.