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New Restrictions on Green Cards, Visas for 2020 and Expedited Removal: What You Need to Know

Restrictions on Visas

On April 20th, The Administration signed the first executive order to temporarily block the issuance of green cards and visas to those outside the United States, but the measure included numerous exemptions, like those for overseas spouses and young children of American citizens.

The order, which would be in place for at least 60 days, affect many seeking to immigrate to the United States. Under the measure, a diversity visa lottery that issues about 50,000 visas each year was be suspended, and green card holders in the United States will be prevented from reuniting with their spouses abroad.

But it does not apply to immigrants already in the United States, nor did it originally apply to those seeking temporary visas.

Further Visa Restrictions

On June 22nd, another executive order was signed to suspend the issuance of certain temporary worker visas through the end of 2020, cracking down further on immigration after signing the narrower measure in April.

H-1B visas are used for skilled workers and are common in the tech industry and is the largest visa program of those included in Monday’s order as its recipients can stay for multiple years. H-2B visas apply to seasonal workers. H-4 visas are given to spouses of H-1B visa holders.

J-1 visas are given to researchers, scholars, and other specialized categories such as au pairs, while L-1 visas are used for executives transferring to the United States from positions abroad with the same employer.

The restrictions are set to remain in place for the rest of the calendar year and can be extended.

The order does not apply to those already in the United States, and it gives The Administration some leeway in making other exceptions. The order comes roughly two months after Trump signed an initial executive order that temporarily suspended the issuance of new green cards, citing the need to protect American jobs amid widespread unemployment during the pandemic.

Expedited Removal

On June 25th, The Administration won the fight for an expansion of the expedited removal process in Federal Court. This would mean that newly arrived immigrants might not have the chance to challenge their expedited removal in federal court.

“Expedited removals” have been available to immigration officials for two decades in cases where undocumented people were apprehended within 100 miles of the U.S. border, and , until recently, only a small number of immigrants who had recently arrived in the US could be subjected to expedited removal. But the Administration has sought for years to vastly expand US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s power.

The new rule means undocumented immigrants in the U.S. who can’t prove they’ve lived in the country continuously for at least two years, potentially affecting an estimated 20,000 people. Expedited removal can also mean that immigrants can be detained and deported without seeing an immigration judge, and even possibly before they have the chance to find legal representation.

During these rapidly changing times, it is more important now than ever to have adequate representation already in place for you and your loved ones. Call Us Today for a consultation.

Learn more about Roberson Law, LLC.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

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