Shortly after 10:00 p.m. last night, President Donald Trump announced—through Twitter—that he “will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States,” because of the “attack” from the COVID-19 pandemic on the United States and “to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.”
Other than President Trump’s Tweet, neither the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, State Department, nor any other federal agency provided any guidance or information as to what exactly the suspension of immigration into the United States actually means, how expansive such a suspension would be, or the number of individuals and countries that such an executive order could affect.
Global Travel Ban to the United States
On March 19, 2020, we wrote about the travel restrictions the White House imposed on the admission of foreign nationals into the United States, to limit the spread of COVID-19. Since then,
foreign nationals who were in any of the following countries in the 14-days before traveling to the United States (were and still) are barred from entering and will be turned away at U.S. airports, ports, border crossings, and other ports-of-entry: Austria, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Moreover, all non-essential travel between the United States, Canada, and Mexico was initially restricted on March 18, 2020, for 30 days. Yesterday, however, President Trump extended the non-essential travel restriction between the three counties for an additional 30 days—through May 20, 2020.
Official Guidance to Suspend Immigration
As of today, there are no other restrictions on the entry to the United States related to the COVID-19 pandemic, other than those noted here. President Trump’s Tweet is still just a Tweet. No official guidance has been issued as to the halting of “all immigration” into the United States.
The Norris McLaughlin Immigration Law Practice Group is closely monitoring the global immigration system and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the migration of people and goods. As more information is learned about any possible additional travel restrictions to the United States, the Norris McLaughlin immigration law blog, Immigration Matters, will be updated.
To learn more about this blog post topic, check out my recent WFMZ 69 News interview, “Trump vows to ‘suspend immigration’.” If you have any questions about this or any other immigration concerns, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (484) 544-0022. For other topics related to COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus Thought Leadership Connection.
The information contained in this post may not reflect the most current developments, as the subject matter is extremely fluid and constantly changing. Please continue to monitor this site for ongoing developments. Readers are also cautioned against taking any action based on information contained herein without first seeking advice from professional legal counsel.