Earlier this evening, the Trump administration issued a proclamation expanding immigration restrictions in a broad attempt to further its xenophobic agenda while distracting Americans from its failure to adequately respond to the coronavirus pandemic. This proclamation builds on a number of anti-immigrant policies put forward by the administration in the last several years by closing off almost all legal pathways to immigration.

In a blatant attempt to pit communities of color and immigrants against one another, the proclamation exploits the record levels of unemployment caused by the COVID-19 crisis to restrict immigration under the guise of protecting workers and minorities. Targeting immigrants does nothing to achieve economic justice and only further marginalizes and dehumanizes our immigrant communities.

In this advisory, drafted by CAIR-CA and Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus attorneys, we cover information about the administration’s latest ban on nearly all immigration to the United States.

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Timing 

The ban on entry to the United States with immigrant visas is effective at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on April 23, 2020. The ban is to last for 60 days (until June 22, 2020), after which it may be extended.

Who Is Impacted Under the Ban?

Any foreign national seeking to obtain an immigrant visa to enter the U.S. who:

  • Is outside the United States at 11:59 p.m. on April 23, 2020; and
  • Does not have a valid immigrant visa in their passport as of 11:59 p.m. on April 23, 2020; and
  • Does not have another valid official travel document, such as a transportation letter, a boarding foil, or an advance parole document.

This means that nearly all parents and adult children of U.S. citizens, spouses and children of green card holders, and applicants for most employment based immigrant visas will not be able to obtain immigrant visas to enter the U.S. for the duration of this ban.

The Ban Does Not Apply To:

  1. U.S. Citizens
  2. U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)
  3. Individuals entering the U.S. on non-immigrant visas
  4. Individuals who are present in the U.S. and applying for adjustment of status
  5. Individuals entering on immigrant visas as medical professionals
  6. Those seeking entry to the U.S. to do COVID-related work, and their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old
  7. Individuals seeking to enter on the EB-5 Immigrant Investors Program
  8. Spouses and children under 21 years old of U.S. Citizens
  9. Individuals “whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives”
  10. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
  11. Nationals of Afghanistan and Iraq who are entering the U.S. on Special Immigrant Visas for having served as interpreters for the U.S. Armed Forces, and their spouses and children
  12. Those seeking asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT)
  13. Anyone whose entry is deemed to be in the “national interest”

How to Help

  • We’re calling on all Americans to urge their members of Congress to fight President Trump’s plans to “temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Join efforts to continue to call for No Muslim Ban Ever in partnership with the National Immigration Law Center and MPower Change. While tonight’s ban is new, the work to repeal the existing Muslim Ban continues.

How to Get Legal Help

Both organizations provide immigration information and legal services free of charge or at low cost. You should contact our organizations if:

  • You or someone you know is impacted by this ban and would like legal advice or assistance.
  • Your community would like to request a virtual “Know Your Rights” presentation.

CAIR-SFBA:

916.441.6269 or online at bit.ly/cairsvccimmhelp

Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus:

415.848.7733 or online at bit.ly/TravelIntake