In June, Trump extended an immigration ban originally issued in April. It will now last through the end of 2020. He also modified it to include H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-1 nonimmigrant visas, while the original order only affected those applying for immigrant visas (green cards). In total, the ban may affect hundreds of thousands of people.
The core reasoning of the proclamation is that, due to today’s staggering levels of unemployment, the U.S. needs to protect Americans from international competition for employment opportunities. Many are concerned, however, that this reasoning could allow the ban to be extended indefinitely, which would mean an end to employment-based and family-based immigration until the administration changes.
At the end of April, however, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Innovation Law Lab, and the Justice Action Center filed suit against the administration on behalf of family-based visa sponsors. When the President extended and expanded the ban in June, the lawsuit was amended to include employers and organizations, as well.
On July 31st, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enjoin the immigration ban, and the hearing will be held on August 27th. According to the motion, the President has failed to demonstrate that immigrants’ entry into the U.S. would be detrimental to national interests. The motion also presents substantial evidence indicating the opposite—that, in reality, immigrants create jobs and grow the economy. In short, the plaintiffs argue that there is no economic basis for the President’s proclamations.
Additionally, 22 states and the District of Columbia filed an amicus brief demonstrating that these immigration restrictions are harming U.S. residents. Immigrants comprise a substantial portion of childcare and other caretaking work, which is critical to ensure U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can return to work. Furthermore, visas allow the world’s top talent to contribute to U.S. endeavors in industries like medical care, technology, and other scientific fields that are critical in the fight against the pandemic. Finally, the bans greatly harm U.S. residents by unnecessarily prolonging family separations.
An amicus brief filed on behalf of the National Foundation for American Policy also points out that the ban on L-1 visa holders may be violating U.S. treaty obligations. It predicts that several countries may seek redress, as the violations will likely impact tens of thousands of employees around the world. As a result, U.S. employees could be terminated and deported, and American employers may need to close their overseas operations.
Even the Department of Homeland Security has admitted how critical immigrants are to the U.S. economy, and the plaintiffs have cited this evidence in their complaint.
According to the DHS, immigrants are:
- Successful entrepreneurs
- Important contributors in research and various scientific fields
- An important source of current labor
- A source of future labor growth
- Critical to the economy’s growth, stability, and recovery
- Crucial for almost all industries (including agriculture, construction, healthcare, and more)
The evidence against the administration is substantial, but we still cannot predict the future of the ban. We will continue to provide litigation-related updates as they become available.
Let’s Work Toward Your Goals Together
The immigration system is tumultuous—especially today. While we cannot be sure of the results of pending litigation or the future of current policies, our team at Nathan Christensen P.C. has faith in immigrant advocacy groups, other law firms, and the people of the United States to continue fighting for your access to our nation’s opportunities. Whether you have yet to begin your immigration process or you are well on your way, trust our attorneys to handle your case with care and dedication.