Biden Overturns Trump Ban On Many Green Card Applicants |The Republican News

■Trump-era measure restricting many visa applicants cited need to protect US jobs amid COVID-19 pandemic.

US President Joe Biden signs an executive order at the White House on February 24, 2021 [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

US President Joe Biden has revoked a proclamation issued under the Trump administration that blocked many green card applicants from entering the United States.

The order by former President Donald Trump, known as Presidential Proclamation 100014, cited a need to protect US jobs amid high unemployment rates caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Wednesday, the White House announced that Biden overturned the measure through an executive order, saying Trump’s ban separated families and “does not advance the interests of the United States”.

“To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here,” the statement reads.

Human rights advocates have been calling on the Biden administration to overturn the measure, which was set to expire on March 31.

“I’m thrilled that Biden has cancelled this proclamation,” Curtis Morrison, an immigration lawyer based in California, told Al Jazeera.

“But I’m also worried,” said Morrison, explaining that the US is currently facing a backlog of hundreds of thousands of visa applicants.

“That backlog may take [Biden’s] entire first term to clear out, unless he is ambitious to doing something to solve that problem.”

Since taking office on January 20, Biden has overturned several of Trump’s anti-immigration policies, including the so-called Muslim ban and a policy that forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their US asylum applications are processed.

But his efforts – including a bill unveiled this month that would create an eight-year pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people who live in the US – are expected to be met with stiff resistance by Republicans in Congress.


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White House Makes Another Tweak To Ban On Refugees, Some Foreign Nationals


Elise Foley
President Donald Trump has said his refugee and travel ban is going great.© Carlos Barria/Reuters President Donald Trump has said his refugee and travel ban is going great.  

WASHINGTON ― It’s been less than a week since President Donald Trump signed a sweeping ban on certain foreign nationals and all refugees entering the U.S., but his administration has already had to make multiple tweaks to account for its vague language.

The administration made another change on Wednesday. A counsel to the president issued guidance to government agencies saying the executive order does not apply to legal permanent residents, also known as green card holders, and that they will no longer need special waivers to re-enter the U.S. White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced the “update,” as he put it, during a daily briefing with reporters.

Trump’s initial executive order , which he signed Friday, was phrased so broadly that it affected green card holders who had left the country only to find out later that the president had tried to block their return.

The order bars most nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries ― Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen ― from entering the country for at least 90 days. It also suspends refugee resettlement for 120 days, and indefinitely blocks Syrian refugees from the United States.

The ban was applied to legal permanent residents originally from those seven countries, many of whom were initially detained upon returning to the United States. More than 1,000 of them were admitted under special waivers.  Now, based on the White House guidance, those individuals will not need a waiver.

The Department of Homeland Security announced additional exceptions to the ban on Tuesday, including Iraqis who worked for the U.S. government in positions such as translators. Officials also said the ban does not apply to dual nationals of the seven countries. For example, someone with Syrian and French nationality can enter the U.S. using their French passport.

The exceptions only apply to a small fraction of the population potentially affected by the order: tens of thousands of refugees and millions of citizens of the seven countries who are still barred from visiting the U.S. to work, study, see family or receive medical care.

The initial language allowed for very few exceptions. Some Republicans particularly balked at the inclusion of legal permanent residents and Iraqis who assisted U.S. troops. Members of Congress said they received little guidance about the order, even after it went into effect.

Trump has denied that there were any issues with implementing the order.

“It’s working out very nicely,” he said Saturday.

The latest change to the order came after Donald McGahn, counsel to the president, advised that there was “reasonable uncertainty about whether those provisions apply to lawful permanent residents,” Politico first reported.    (The Huffington Post)

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