Although the U.S. now leads the world in coronavirus cases, the Trump administration is continuing to use the pandemic to restrict temporary travel and immigration to the United States. The focus has now shifted to keeping American-born workers “first in line” for new jobs, even though U.S. employers struggle to fill positions without foreign workers because Americans are less qualified—especially in the tech world.
New restrictions include:
- An extension of the 60-day immigration ban, now in effect until the end of 2020—prevents prospective immigrants from entering the U.S. to obtain family-based or employment-based green cards
- An expansion of the ban to include certain nonimmigrant visas—L-1 visas (intracompany transfers), H-1B and H-4 visas (specialty workers and their spouses), H-2B visas (temporary workers in non-agricultural industries), and J-1 visas (exchange visitors)
- A regulation on work authorization for asylum-seekers—prevents certain asylum seekers from qualifying for work permits
According to the Migration Policy Institute, these new restrictions will likely prevent more than 200,000 temporary workers from entering the United States. Businesses like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have joined the Information Technology Industry Council in protesting these restrictions, explaining that immigration is critical to the U.S. economy’s recovery. Greg Chen, the director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, echoed these sentiments as well.
Fortunately, several groups of people are exempt from the visa ban, including:
- Spouses or children of U.S. citizens
- Food supply chain workers
- Other workers deemed essential for national interests
Additionally, individuals can still change and adjust their status if they are already in the United States.
Get the Information You Need from Our Team
If you or a loved one are hoping to visit or move to the United States, don’t navigate the legal system alone. Our Skokie immigration lawyers at Gambacorta Law have spent years developing our knowledge and skills so that we are fully prepared to assist you. As immigrants ourselves, we are both personally and professionally dedicated to your success.