Trump suspended the issuance of Green Cards during the health emergency
It is clear that the global pandemic took humanity by surprise. The massive outbreak of Coronavirus, which spread rapidly and uncontrollably around the world, brought not only a health crisis, but also an economic, social and even political crisis, on a global scale.
One of the sectors most affected in the US by the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic is immigration. Apart from the fact that then-President Donald Trump always referred to immigration with a negative connotation, indiscriminately linking it to crime and unemployment, the health emergency also helped his government to substantially limit and restrict the entry of foreigners into the country. With this, we refer to all kinds of foreign populations, from people in need of international protection who apply to humanitarian programs, to relatives of American citizens and highly skilled workers.
The relationship that the Trump administration created between the health crisis and immigration was so great that it even suspended Green Card issuance and applications for a considerable period of time. To understand the implications of this restriction, it is important to clarify that Green Cards grant lawful permanent residence, allowing immigrants to work in the US, access social benefits, and possibly apply for American citizenship in the future.
Former President Trump stated, through several Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations, that this emergency measure would lower the unemployment rate, which rose disproportionately during the massive Coronavirus outbreak, and protect American workers in times of crisis.
Biden reverses Trump’s order to suspend Green Card issuance
Trump’s order to suspend the issuance of Green Cards has been in force since April 2020 and affected thousands of immigrants, including those whose applications had already been approved and are Green Card holders by right, but have not been able to enter the US due to Trump’s restrictions or to request their physical card in the country.
This includes immigrants who applied for Green Cards through family sponsorship, employment sponsorship, winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery, inter alia.
The current president of the US does not agree with these restrictions and, even before the presidential elections, which took place in November 2020, he promised to revoke the Trump administration’s limitations and strict policies on the immigration sector.
Speaking specifically about Green Card issuance, President Joe Biden signed a Proclamation on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, which permanently revokes Trump’s order to suspend Green Card applications in the US called “Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak.”
President Biden states that this restriction affects the US in times of crisis and is against the national interest. Biden argues that suspending the issuance of Green Cards affects American or US-based companies that hire highly qualified workers and rely heavily on foreign workers, and family members of local citizens.
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