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President Trump Announces Suspension of “Green Cards” – Has Not Yet Provided Detail

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On April 20, 2020, the President of the United States tweeted that he will sign an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.

The tweet provided no further details as to what the President meant by suspension of immigration.

On April 21, 2020, President Trump stated that the order will only apply to the issuance of “Green Cards” and will last 60 days.

The President stated the order will not apply to temporary workers.

The announcement is particularly unclear because "Green Card" is not a legal term, but is the colloquial term for the document that a lawful permanent resident receives to prove their lawful permanent resident status in the USA.

Individuals receive their "Green Cards" through one of two processes:

1) Applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy abroad, attending an in-person interview, having the immigrant visa approved and issued by the U.S. State Department, and then entering the USA on the immigrant visa. The "Green Card" is then mailed to that person's residence in the USA after their entry.

2) Applying for "adjustment of status" to lawful permanent resident with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from within the United States, attending an in-person interview (in most cases), and having the application approved. The "Green Card" is then mailed to the person's residence after approval.

As of 12:00 pm (MDT) on April 22, 2020, the Trump Administration has not produced any Executive Order and it remains unclear what effects the Order will have on individuals and families, both in the USA and abroad.

The Administration has not clarified whether this order applies to:
    - People outside of the USA who plan to apply for immigrant visas upon entry to the United States; or
  - People already present in the United States seeking lawful permanent residence through adjustment of status applications with the USCIS; or
    - Something else entirely

Donald Trump’s announcement without additional substance has caused uncertainty within the immigration communities during an already trying time. Added stress to families and employers while our entire country continues to struggle through the COVID-19 outbreak is counterproductive, especially while so many immigrants continue their work in the health care industry and provide many other essential services to the United States. 

Kolko & Casey will continue to monitor the Trump Administration’s plans and will provide further information if, and when, the President signs the Executive Order.

If you have questions about this or any other immigration matter, Kolko & Casey, P.C. remains available for your call.

We wish you and those you love health and safety during these trying times.

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.