President Trump has officially stopped immigration into the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative affect on the U.S. economy. There have been a lot of questions about what Trump’s executive order means for immigrants and their families. We will explain what the executive order means and what it does not.
Who may not immigrate: The executive order stops immigrants who are outside the United States from entering or immigrating at this time.
Can immigrants who are already in the U.S. stay here? The executive order does not affect immigrants who are already here in the U.S., whether or not they have legal status. This means that immigrants who were already present in the U.S. on the date of the executive order (April 22, 2020) will not be affected. However, for those living in the U.S. without legal status, we recommend consulting with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to discuss legalization options.
Who may still immigrate at this time: There are several special categories of immigrants who are still allowed to enter the U.S. at this time. These categories include (but are not limited to): legal permanent residents, spouses of U.S. citizens, children (under age 21) of a U.S. citizen, and healthcare workers entering on an immigrant visa to perform medical work.
Does the order stop asylum seekers from entering the U.S.? No. Asylum seekers are still allowed to claim asylum during this time. If their asylum claim is seen as valid by the immigration officers, asylum seekers will be allowed to enter and pursue their asylum claim, even while the executive order is in effect.
Length of the executive order: The executive order stops immigration to the United States for 60 days, at which time we hope that immigration to the United States will resume.
Immigration delays: Many immigration appointments are currently being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closing of many country borders. Therefore, it is likely that immigration cases (especially consular processing) will experience some delay at this time. These delays are not related to the executive order but are simply due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contact an attorney for help. Whether you are seeking to enter the U.S. or you are already here but do not have legal status, we advise that you consult with an immigration attorney right away to discuss your options. Legalization opens the door to employment authorization, benefits (such as payment from the COVID-19 stimulus package), and longterm security for you and your family. Our office is open for remote appointments (via phone or video), and we are accepting new cases. Please book an appointment online at www.barraza-law.com or call us at 779-379-2770.