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Trump Announcement on Suspension of US Immigration

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the recent Announcement by President Trump that he will be suspending Immigration to the United States for at least the immediately foreseeable future. 

In a recent article from Bloomberg this is where I first found this, bloomberg.com. Quoting directly: "President Donald Trump said he will sign an Executive Order temporarily suspending Immigration into the United States as the country tries to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. Trump made the announcement by tweet late Monday night, did not offer specifics such as the time frame or the scope of who would be affected. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment", and the title of that article is Trump Says he Will Suspend Immigration to US over Virus Concerns. Again that is bloomberg.com

So clearly there are going to be Immigration implications for this. As we have gotten into in prior videos on this channel, as a practical matter frankly I don't know how much of an impact this is going to have especially on our main client base of folks that are processing their visas out of the US Embassy here in Bangkok, Thailand, the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the US Embassy in Vientiane, Laos and then some of our cases down in Singapore, perhaps out of Vietnam. Those folks are all currently shut down due to COVID-19 concerns, most of the Immigrant, Non-immigrant Visa units are shut down. In fact all of them that I just mentioned to the best of my knowledge as of the time of this video. I don't foresee them reopening anytime particularly soon and by the time that they do, they are going to have to sort of bring things back online and from what we have read, this is going to be a temporary bar it looks like for maybe 2 months and then they are going to revisit it. 

That being said, I am sure many people watching my channel, clients and avid viewers both, are probably very concerned of how this impacts the overall Immigration process. There will be other videos forthcoming. I am going to make a miniseries on this overall issue. The first thing to take away as at the time of this video and some subsequent ones, we have yet to see a fully promulgated Executive Order so we don't know exactly how this is going to look yet. That being said and I will get into this in later videos in further detail, I don't think filing is going to be precluded. It is certainly going to be possible in my opinion to be able to petition for Immigrant Visa benefits especially in the Spousal and I will get into this and the Marriage Spousal Visa benefits as well as for children both of United States citizens and probably lawful permanent residents. Secondly, I don't think that due to its unique nature, I don't think the K-1 Visa will be overly impacted by this. Again they may suspend issuance probably more due to COVID-19 and the fact that the Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visa units abroad are effectively closed because they are dealing with the social distancing stuff and trying to figure out protocols to come back on line. So for now I mean whether this announcement is out or not, whether an order is out or not is kind of irrelevant.  The embassies aren't processing, at least in this region, really aren't processing anything anyway. So as a practical matter, I don't really see how this is going to impact those folks. 

But I am sure there are people who are watching this video that are very concerned as to how this is going to impact their fiancée's case, how this is going to impact their spouse's case and it is probably even more concerning and the concern is exacerbated by the fact that they are separated probably by thousands of miles; one of them being in the United States, one of them being over Thailand, maybe Laos, Cambodia and this stuff is concerning.

In a recent article from The Daily Caller titled: Trump Says Immigration Freeze Will Last 2 Months, Reveals New Details. The following quote:  "According to Politico, a source "familiar with the situation” indicated that the Executive Order will not apply to healthcare workers seeking green cards or people with "nuclear family members’ inside the United States." Quoting further: "The specifics of the "nuclear family" exemption are unclear. The New York Times reports, and I quote, we are quoting within this article from Daily Caller, quote: "American citizens seeking to bring their children or spouses to the United States would still be allowed to do so." Quoting further from Daily Caller: "which suggests that the exemption could be limited to them."  So again without seeing the Executive Order and the language contained therein, it is difficult to say exactly what this looks like but it sounds like this is more aimed, and Trump has made remarks on this. I am not going to read them on here because it is really not pertinent to this particular video, but Trump seems to be more concerned with the economic ramifications of economic immigrants into the United States so like workers, labor, highly-skilled workers; those types of things. This seems to be a policy initiative designed to protect the American labor force so precluding family based Immigration is not the thrust of the policy behind this proposed order. 

So it remains to be seen exactly what this looks like. Also note it seems to be geared at Green Cards so K-1 visas, fiance visas do not confer a green card at entry so again the unique nature of the K-1 may result in the Executive Order not really pertaining to that type of travel document.

We will get into the details later on his channel so stay tuned but it looks to me like this probably is not really aimed at marriage, family based cases. It is aimed at employment-based visas and for that reason most of the cases processing that we deal with out of Bangkok, Vientiane and Phnom Penh are probably going to be un-impacted overall, both in a practical sense and probably in a legal sense by this recent announcement. This remains to be seen and we will continue to update you on this channel.