On February 24, 2021, President Joe Biden lifted a year-long freeze the Trump administration issued on green cards in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had blocked most legal forms of immigration to the United States. He revoked the proclamation and claimed that blocking legal immigration “does not advance” national interests and has a negative impact on the country.
In March 2020, President Trump stopped the issuance of green cards until the end of last year and then extended the order until the end of March 2021. He claimed that immigrants were a threat to the U.S. job market because the country experienced an economic recession due to the impact of the coronavirus.
The orders blocked most immigrant visas. According to the American Immigrant Lawyers Association, approximately 120,000 family-based preference visas were lost and only immigrants who are U.S. citizens applying for their spouse and children (under 21 years old) were allowed to bring over loved ones.
In addition, the freeze banned entry to immigrants with employment-based visas, unless they were healthcare professionals or other workers that served the interests of the U.S. government. Lastly, the ban costs thousands of visa lottery winners the chance to immigrate to the United States.
The Biden administration’s actions came only days after visa lottery winners won a court order and a judge put their visas on hold. Now they can use their visas to lawfully enter the country.
President Biden has proposed a bill that would reduce the president’s power to issue future bans on immigrants. Furthermore, he wants to increase the number of diversity visas available in the lottery each year to 80,000, instead of the current figure of 55,000.
Interested in obtaining a green card in Phoenix, AZ? If so, contact Kanu & Associates, P.C. today at (602) 353-7795 for a case evaluation. Se habla Español.