Trump Travel Bans Extended

On Dec. 31, 2020, President Trump has extended his previously issued Proclamations 10014 and 10052, known as the Trump Travel Bans, until March 31, 2021…

Travel Ban LawyerKnowing the Proclamations

You must have heard about Presidential Proclamation 10014 and Presidential Proclamation 10052. They are some notorious Presidential Proclamations (PP) made by Trump, as they not only align with the restrictive immigration policy that President Donald Trump is reputed for, but they were also made under circumstances which drew a lot of controversy and attention. 

PP 10014 suspends the Issuance of immigrant visas to certain visa applicants who were outside the United States and did not have an already approved immigrant visa as of April 23, 2020.  Several classes of immigrants were exempted from the order, including spouses of U.S. Citizens, green card holders, and health care workers.

PP 10052 extended PP 10014 until December 31, 2020, as opposed to the June 22, 2020, when it was initially set to expire. 

PP 10052 also introduced new visa and entry restrictions for certain non-immigrant visa applicants “who present a risk to the U.S Labor market following the outbreak of COVID-19”, particularly, applicants for H-1B, H2B, and L-1 visas; J-1 visa applicants participating in the intern, trainee, teacher, camp counsellor, au pair, or summer work travel programs; and any spouses or children of covered applicants applying for H-4, L-2, or J-2 visas. 

More Travel Ban Days

Coming into effect on June 24, 2020, PP10052 was set to expire on December 31, 2020, the very last day of what has been a horrendous year. However, on New Year’s Eve, President Trump signed an additional PP extending the expiration date of both 10014 and 10052 until March 31, 2021. 

Sadly, we will be seeing more days of suspension of visa issuance for the affected classes of applicants and limitation of entry into the US.  These issues are exacerbated by the fact that US Embassies world wide have not become fully operational in light of COVID-19, and many embassies are still only giving appointments to visa applicants who can show they need an “emergency” appointment.  

Since the new expiration date of the travel restrictions extends beyond President Trump’s final days in office, this decision means it is up to President Joe Biden to determine whether and if it will drop the restrictions, which were first imposed in March 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 and later extended to supposedly aid US’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak.  

Biden Administration US Travel Restrictions

So far, the Biden Administration has not indicated if it will amend or drop these specific travel restrictions, although it has already issued several Executive Orders concerning immigration, including ending the so-called “Muslim” Ban.  People who were previously denied under the Muslim Ban are able to apply for their case to be reconsidered for the next 45 days.  

Another Executive Order that Biden initiated concerning travel was on “Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.” This Executive Order requires international travelers to provide a negative COVID-19 prior to travel or self-quarantine if unavailable, follow CDC guidelines regarding mask wearing and social distancing during travel, etc.  Immigration advocates expect him to drop Trump’s country-specific Travel Bans on Europe, Iran, Brazil, and China in light of the new requirement for negative COVID-19 tests, although this is only speculation at this point. 

As President Joe Biden commences his Democrat-ic administration this week, a lot has been said about his plans to revamp the country’s immigration policy, as the lawyers at Immigration Lawyers USA can explain. Specifically, it is envisaged that he will be invalidating these PPs as well as reversing a whole lot of Trump’s restrictive immigration policies, most of which were made without Congressional support, within in the first 100 days of his Administration.  However, there are a couple of concerns as to how quickly and to what extent these reforms will be made.  

Final Thoughts

Fingers are crossed for the quick fixes the Joe Biden administration will make to these travel restrictions. However, until the proclamations rescinding them come into effect, courtesy of Trump, a large class of visa applicants remain restricted from the US borders till the last day of March 2021.  

Thanks to Alicia Morgan of Immigration Lawyers USA for her insight into travel restrictions.