While many choose to forget, the United States is founded on immigration—on the idea that people deserve access to a certain standard of living, as well as rights, freedom, and independence. For hundreds of years, America has been celebrated as a destination for those who seek (and are willing to fight for) a better life.
Today, immigration is in jeopardy—not just as an option but as a concept. The Trump administration regularly issues policies and emergency orders that restrict lawful immigration. Fortunately, immigrant advocacy groups, lower courts, and people all across the nation are protesting these changes and fighting to preserve the United States as the land of opportunity it professes to be.
Let’s take a look at some of the current proclamations and policies, whether they’re here to stay, and how we can continue to navigate the U.S. immigration system despite today’s obstacles.
The Immigration Ban
On June 22nd, Trump chose to extend the immigration ban that initially took effect in April. It will now last for the rest of 2020.
Furthermore, it includes the following nonimmigrant visas:
- H-1B and H-2B visas for specialty workers and nonagricultural seasonal workers
- J visas for exchange visitors
- L visas for intracompany transferees
- Visas for the spouses and children of H, J, and L nonimmigrants
Originally, the immigration ban only affected those who were applying for employment-based and family-based immigrant visas abroad. With these additional categories, thousands of additional people will struggle to obtain employment opportunities, which will have a negative impact not just on themselves and their families but also on the U.S. economy.
Several U.S. entities and employers have filed suit, seeking an injunction that blocks this ban. We will keep you informed regarding the results of this case. In the meantime, get in touch with us to learn whether this ban applies to you. The proclamation lists several exceptions that could allow you to continue your immigration process.
The Public Charge Rule
In February, the new public charge rule took effect, allowing adjudicating officers to deny applications for green cards or visas if they believe the applicant is (or could become) a public charge. While the public charge grounds of inadmissibility are not new to immigration law, this specific rule considers an applicant a public charge if they use certain public benefits for a certain amount of time.
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, this rule could not have come at a worse time. Many are facing the impossible decision between protecting their status or eligibility and obtaining medical treatment or financial assistance to cover that treatment. A federal judge issued an injunction preventing the Department of Homeland Security from applying the new public charge rule to cases during the pandemic, but the fate of this injunction is currently unclear. Visit the Immigrant Legal Resource Center for updates about relevant litigation.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
DACA is a program that grants temporary, renewable status to undocumented immigrants if their parents brought them to the U.S. as children. The Trump administration has been trying to end this program for some time now. Most recently, the Supreme Court ruled against their attempts, explaining that the administration failed to provide adequate reasoning in support of ending the program. However, the Department of Homeland Security is currently rejecting all initial requests for DACA while it “weighs the future of the program.”
Many have said that going against the Supreme Court this way is blatantly unlawful. Nevertheless, the future of DACA remains unclear. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Moving Forward with Your Immigration Process
These are just a few of the challenges you or a loved one may be experiencing. However, we have faith here at Fayad Law, P.C. that the United States will continue to fight for the rights of immigrants—and so will we. The attempts to curb lawful immigration are concerning, but we urge you to continue with your process and have hope that circumstances will improve in the future. Whether your goal is to visit the U.S., move here permanently, or change your immigration status, we have what it takes to help you overcome obstacles and achieve your dreams.
Fayad Law, P.C.
8315 Lee Highway Suite 620,
Fairfax, VA 22031