In April, 2020, purportedly to prevent competition for U.S. jobs, President Trump banned the entry of most immigrants, whether immigrating as professional or exceptional ability workers, immediate family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, or those approved for immigration after selection for diversity visas. In June, 2020, a second proclamation banned the entry of most temporary foreign workers, and extended the immigrant entry ban through December 31, 2020.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed challenging the foreign worker entry ban and the ban on entry of family immigrants. Now, more than 245 individuals who were slated to immigrate imminently, or their petitioning sponsors, have filed a class action lawsuit challenging the ban.
The ban is keeping immigrants already been determined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as eligible to immigrate from having their immigrant visa applications processed by the State Department. The ban is dividing families, keeping talented individuals from joining their U.S. employers, and jeopardizing visa lottery winners’ ability to receive their immigrant visas before the fiscal year ends. A press release describing the lawsuit can be found here.
While the entry bans are set to expire on December 31, 2020, the Trump administration is expected to extend them. The Biden administration is likely to reverse the bans, but challenging whether the executive branch can do an end run around Congress and thwart immigration statutes to prevent competition is a legal question reaching beyond any single administration that deserves an answer.