Last week, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would temporarily suspend immigration to the United States to protect a struggling American workforce in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. He followed up with a presidential proclamation two days later.
But Kate Lincoln Goldfinch, an immigration lawyer operating in South and Central Texas, said there are stark differences between what Trump promised in the tweet and what’s in the proclamation. She told Texas Standard host David Brown on Monday that the proclamation only suspends new visa applications from U.S. consulates abroad, and those consulates are closed anyway because of the pandemic.
“The actual order had far fewer teeth than the tweet did,” Lincoln Goldfinch said.
The suspension of visa application lasts for 60 days. Many of the applications that will be affected are for family members of U.S. citizens and others legally residing in the United States.
Lincoln Goldfinch said Trump’s proclamation was more of a political gesture during a presidential election year than a policy change.
“This follows a pattern that wet we’ve seen multiple times under President Trump,” she said. “He has less authority [to suspend immigration] than he threatened to have in his tweet.”
The proclamation does not affect people already in the U.S. who have applied for immigration documents like green cards or work permits, or for citizenship. Applications in those cases are merely delayed while federal offices are closed because of the pandemic.
Web story by Caroline Covington.