On April 22, 2020, a Presidential Proclamation banned the entry of most new immigrants to the U.S. for sixty days, with the stated goal of preventing new permanent residents for competing for U.S. jobs during the pandemic. On June 22, 2020, a second Presidential Proclamation was issued banning the entry of most temporary foreign workers, and extended the ban on new immigrants through December 31, 2020.
On October 14, 2020, a lawsuit by 181 U.S. citizens and permanent residents, whose visa petitions for their spouses or parents or children had been approved, challenged the legality of the ban on immediate family immigrants and requested an injunction. Each of the plaintiffs’ relatives had been in the final stages of applying for their immigrant visas at the appropriate U.S. consulates abroad when the State Department stopped processing their visas due to the Presidential Proclamation.
The plaintiffs have asked the court to order the State Department to resume processing their family members’ immigrant visas, and have asked for an expedited hearing on November 12, 2020.
In a separate lawsuit, a federal court has already blocked part of the Presidential Proclamation banning entry of most foreign temporary workers, which may help the plaintiffs succeed in their efforts to be reunited with their immediate family members.