Trump's temporary ban on immigration

US IMMIGRATION NOTES - Atty. Marco F.G. Tomakin (The Freeman) - April 26, 2020 - 12:00am

On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States for 60 days. He rationalizes this latest move as a way to protect American jobs while undergoing the fight against COVID-19. This order will apply to foreigners applying for green cards who are outside the United States. What is surprising in this order is that it is not as broad and as far-reaching as it was initially thought. The exceptions are the following; those who are applying for adjustment of status, essential workers such as nurses and doctors, spouses and children of US citizens, military members and those designated by law enforcement, prospective foreign adoptees of US citizens, and those applying for investor visas, seasonal workers such as those working in the farms, landscaping, and resorts.

One caveat is that at any time the order could be modified. How it is to be modified depends on what Mr. Trump sees, thinks or feels on that given day. Everybody is anxiously waiting for it.

In other immigration news, the USCIS is readying to open its local offices on June 4, 2020, unless the public closures are extended further. Applications and petitions can still be filed online or via postal mail.

For US citizens in the Philippines who find themselves stranded in the middle of this pandemic and who wish to fly back to the USA, please visit the US Embassy website for information about sweeper flights. The website has tons of information for US citizens needing more information about services offered by the US Embassy at this time.

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All the leaders of Cebu must coordinate and agree as to the date of the lifting of their respective Enhanced Community Quarantines. It would be chaotic if some cities reopened before Cebu City ends its ECQ on May 15. For example, if Mandaue City opens on April 30, its residents who study, work, or have businesses in Cebu City cannot yet perform work or sell their goods and services. Or if Cebu Province has no definite date to reopen yet when Cebu City would be ready by May 15, city residents would have to suspend their activities in the province and wait until it reopens.

It was already quite a disarray and a spectacle of confusion when the quarantine started, it would be disastrous when there is no coordinated synchronization of a specific and definite reopening date.

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