Experts: Trump’s Slowing of Green Cards ‘More Significant’ if Extended

Experts: Trump’s Slowing of Green Cards ‘More Significant’ if Extended

President Donald Trump’s executive order slowing green card processing for a modest group of foreign nationals may be much “more significant” if it is extended and expanded beyond its 60-day period, immigration policy experts say.

The executive order halts new arrivals seeking employment-based and extended family green cards from entering the United States in the midst of the Chinese coronavirus crisis, with more than 26 million Americans unemployed.

The order, in its current state, impacts less than ten percent of legal immigration to the U.S. and exempts the EB-5 visa program geared to help Chinese investors secure green cards.

Experts with the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) say Trump’s executive order “could be more significant” if it is extended beyond its 60-day period and is expanded to pause more foreign worker visa programs.

MPI experts say the order will slow processing for potentially 52,000 green card applicants but argue that its impact is greatly limited in its current form because most “the State Department had already largely suspended in-person consular interviews for visa applicants as a result of [coronavirus].”

The executive order blocks green cards 4 immigrants applying outside the U.S. EXCEPT for:
🔹Spouses & minor children of US citizens
🔹Healthcare professionals
🔹Armed forces members & family
🔹Special immigrant visas (SIV)
🔹Individual national interest, law enforcement decisions

— MigrationPolicy Inst (@MigrationPolicy) April 22, 2020

Based on a review of FY2019 #greencard grants, here are the *annual* totals in the categories that would be blocked under the Trump executive order

In other words, we estimate this would block about 26,000 green cards a month or 52,000 over the 60 days of the proclamation pic.twitter.com/4AxHcOlRKP

— MigrationPolicy Inst (@MigrationPolicy) April 23, 2020

The effect could be more significant if the executive order is extended beyond the pandemic and continues after regular government services resume

— MigrationPolicy Inst (@MigrationPolicy) April 23, 2020

Already, pro-American immigration reformers are urging the White House to expand the order to pause a series of foreign worker visa programs amid mass unemployment.

“The American public understands that a meaningful pause of immigration must include all immigration, especially guest workers,” officials with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) wrote in a letter to Trump.

“In the next 30 days, a new Executive Order must be issued to include all forms of immigration, including guest worker programs, which would allow hundreds of thousands of Americans out of the labor force to come back in, both now and when the economy finally starts to recover,” the letter states.

As Breitbart News exclusively reported, H-1B and H-2B visas, as well as J-1 visas, E visas, O-1 visas, L visas, and B visas were considered for suspension in prior drafts of the order. These visa programs were exempted from the order signed by Trump.

In 30 days, Trump is expected to meet with the heads of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Labor Department about modifying the order to potentially include more visa programs that negatively impact America’s working and middle class.

For weeks, Breitbart News has chronicled the historical precedent for an immigration moratorium during times of national crisis. During the Great Depression, for instance, mass unemployment was eased by major cuts to legal immigration levels that stayed below 100,000 annual admissions for nearly 15 years from 1931 and 1945.

Since 1980, the U.S. has not admitted fewer than 525,000 legal immigrants in a single year. For 40 years, annual legal immigration admissions have hovered around one to 1.2 million. The U.S. admits more foreign nationals than any other country in the world and has done so for more than two decades.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

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