US halts issuance of new green cards for 60 days amid COVID-19 pandemic


US halts issuance of new green cards for 60 days amid COVID-19 pandemic

US President Donald Trump has announced that he is suspending the issuance of new green cards or legal permanent residency for the next 60 days. This controversial move is backed by his argument that it would help Americans find work after the COVID-19 pandemic.

This move also comes in the wake of his executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States of America. While addressing his daily pandemic briefing, he added that by halting immigration, it will help the Americans be in the first in line for jobs after America re-opens. He emphasised that the suspension will be in place for 60 days, and that its extension will be decided based on the economic conditions during that time.

Offering clarity regarding this move, the President added that the order would, “only apply to those seeking a permanent residency, in other words, those receiving green cards. It will not apply to those entering on a temporary basis”. However, without revealing further details, added that there will be exemptions. He added, “Some people will be able to get in. We have to do that, obviously, even from a humane standpoint”.

US halts issuance of new green cards for 60 days amid COVID-19 pandemic

Reportedly, 577000 individuals were granted lawful permanent residence in 2019, by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Once this executive order is signed by Trump, it will impact a large number of Indian Americans, who have been waiting to get a green card. This move is expected to further delay the process of getting a green card.

Referring to the issue that American workers might likely face after the pandemic, he mentioned that it would be unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with a new immigrant flown in from abroad. He informed that moving forward, his administration will examine what additional immigration-related measures need to be in place to protect the US workers.

Responding to questions of the media personnel, he explained that the need to take such an unprecedented move has been because of the massive impact that the COVID-19 is having on the US economy.

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