Washington, DC – Applicants in the US, awaiting to become permanent residents or those seeking first entry into the country, are both yet to know if the new executive order will apply to them.
On Tuesday evening at the Brady Press briefing room, US President Donald Trump announced his intention to sign a new executive order to suspend Green card issuances, but according to White House sources the order details were still being worked out even as the president said he was planning to sign it on Wednesday.
“This order will only apply to individuals seeking a permanent residency. In other words, those receiving green cards – a big factor – it will not apply to those entering on a temporary basis,” Trump told journalists at the briefing.
Shrugging a question at the briefing about him using the pandemic to further his anti-immigration agenda to appease his political base, President Trump argued, “I’m not doing that at all. I want the American worker and our American citizens to be able to get jobs,” adding, “I don’t want them to compete right now.”
The crucial part for people within the country and waiting to change the status, is a bleak prospect of thousands of them falling out of migratory status without much recourse to even legal means as most courts and government agencies are closed with the current lockdown.
Without detailing what conditions would warrant his decision to lift or extend the suspension, President Trump said he would review the order after 60 days.
With more than 22 million Americans having filed for unemployment insurance already, President Trump is playing a political card, according to political observers here.
Economic pundits predict an economic recovery will take months, if not years, thus giving President Trump an excuse to extend the immigration suspension for at least beyond the November presidential election this year.
According to reliable sources the H1-B visa lottery system would go on but there could be lots of hiccups along the way.
Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, one of the major employers of IT workers on Tuesday expressed his apprehensions on Twitter: “Immigrants are vital to our company & the nation’s economy. Today, they’re helping us respond to COVID-19 in healthcare, research, IT, infrastructure, food supply, & more. As we focus on recovery for all Americans, we must not lose sight of the critical importance of immigrants.”