US President Removes Green Card Ban Imposed By Trump; Big Relief For Indians On H1B Visa
US President Joe Biden has reversed the Trump era ban on foreign citizens seeking legal entry into the United States.
Trump had placed the ban during the pandemic which he said was affecting US-born workers and threatening their jobs.
The ban was enforced by suspending green card (which grants permanent residency status) issuance till 2020-end, after which Trump extended it to March end.
The People Affected
Due to Trump’s actions, 120,000 family-based preference visas were rendered redundant. This means if they were not US citizens that were trying to get their family member a visa, they could not bring their family over.
Those with employment-based visas were also rejected entry into the States unless they were providing an essential national service such as health workers.
Those who were selected from the visa lottery of 14 million individuals and were set to receive their permanent visa were also shown the door.
The Democrat Immigration Perspective
Biden retaliated that it does not really promote American interests. Rather, it causes pain due to families not being able to see each other.
American industries and businesses that rely on foreign workers with skill, talent, experience, expertise and education will be missing out due to Trump’s xenophobic immigration policies.
Biden Sympathises With Immigrants
Trump, on Dec 31, had stayed the ban till March-end.
Biden scrapped that and introduced legislation to limit a president’s power to take a call on immigration bans.
He goes a step further by endorsing the increase in the number of diversity visas available each year from 55,000 to 80,000..
The Big Backlog, a Future Challenge
Immigration advocates lauded this development but also saw a challenge ahead in the form of a visa application backlog that froze in the wake of the pandemic, since visa processing by the state department was shut down.
The clearing process will potentially take years, as Curtis Morrison, an immigration attorney, predicts. He further says the backlog amounts to 437,000 for family-based visas alone.
“I’m thrilled for my clients who can now enter the U.S, but that backlog will take years if the administration does not take ambitious measures”, he concludes.