Green card hope darkens for many Indians in the US

Friday, 24 Apr, 2020

During Tuesday's briefing, President Trump said the order would impose a 60 day pause for people seeking permanent residency in the us, but would not affect temporary farm workers.

It is scheduled to expire in 60 days from Wednesday and adds that within 50 days the Homeland Security secretary, secretary of state and labor secretary shall recommend to the president whether the order should be continued or modified. At the daily coronavirus news briefing, reporters quizzed Trump's motivation for instigating the ban, asking if he was taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to implement a long-sought policy goal.

The measure would block immigration based on both employment and family ties, but not affect guest workers who enter the United States on temporary visas, such as farm workers and skilled workers in the H-1B visa program.

"By pausing immigration, we'll help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens".

President Trump says the goal of the executive order is not only to protect Americans from the coronavirus but to save their jobs. By exempting those visas from the restrictions, they say, the executive order does little to protect domestic jobs. But aides described Trump as eager to sign the document.

"The president's immigration policy just makes sense", agreed Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh.

Wednesday's order would only apply to people applying for permanent residence from outside the United States, not those already in the country seeking to adjust their status. Several exemptions apply, however.

Trump's decision aims to protect unemployed American workers from competing with newly-arrived immigrants in the job market, as the USA struggles to restart its economy amid the spread of COVID-19.

While the White House coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, issued guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Trump has repeatedly emphasized the need to relax the strictures in the advisories and get people back to work.

"He's wanted this all along", the person said.

Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices in the country are closed because of the pandemic, and routine visa processing for tourists and workers around the world has been suspended.

There's significant debate over whether broad bans on immigration would do much to benefit the economy's recovery. They are on visas and many are anxious that if they get sick, lose their job or die, their family will be deported.

"Immigrants are the backbone of these industries", Clemens said.

The order comes as the USA economy spirals due to lockdowns stemming from the coronavirus crisis. While many of Trump's efforts to dramatically upend the nation's immigration system have been stymied by Congress and the courts, the pandemic has allowed him to move forward with some. Some amounted the order to "xenophobic scapegoating".

Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project, said that while the order is limited in scope, it "will cause real pain for families and employers across the country". "To me, it smacks of an electoral strategy, not a policy change, and it smacks of desperation and panic".