“For generations, immigrants have come to the United States with little more than the clothes on their backs, hope in their hearts, and a desire to claim their own piece of the American Dream. These mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters have made our Nation better and stronger.”
“Our Nation is enriched socially and economically by the presence of immigrants.”
“Equal opportunity is the bedrock of American democracy, and our diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths.”
Each one of these quotes are from Biden’s executive orders signed in the first days of his presidency.
And even though major U.S. media outlets reported that Biden plans to rescind Trump’s pandemic-era limits on immigrant and work visas, that didn’t happen. The so-called “immigration day” came and went on February 2 but all we saw that day were plans for reviews, committees, and some more reviews on top of that. As I wrote previously, even the repealing of the Muslim ban doesn’t mean anything more than nice words, with this bans in place. The people from these countries are still stuck because of this.
We are talking about the fact that now former president Trump has stopped almost all of the legal immigration since April 2020.
Using Covid-19 and the economy as an excuse, he signed two proclamations, one in April (for immigrant visas) and one in June (for work visas).
Both of them were extended by Trump on December 31st 2020 and will last until March 31st 2021.
“The agencies are considering their options,” Justice Department attorney Thomas Benton York told U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington during a video status conference in a lawsuit by visa applicants challenging directives issued by former President Donald Trump, Bloomberg Law reported last week.
“Ultimately, the proclamation itself, the administration is actively reviewing,” York said.
Some people say that Biden doesn’t want to sign an order that can be challenged and overthrown, like with the federal judge who blocked Biden’s 100-day deportation moratorium after Texas sued the new administration.
But the new administration had another chance to end Trump’s visa bans this Valentine’s Day.
Well, Trump gave them that.
“Within 15 days of December 31, 2020, and every 30 days thereafter while this proclamation is in effect, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend any modifications as may be necessary,” says Trump’s December 31 proclamation.
The first of these dates was January 15, 2021 with Trump still in charge, but 30 days thereafter was February 14, 2021.
The Worldwide Times asked the Department of Homeland Security if Secretary Mayorkas recommended any modifications to the proclamation and if he did, what were the recommendations.
The DHS press team referred us to the Department of State for an answer on this and we did ask them as well.
And they told us that the proclamations remain in place.
“As the global fight against COVID-19 continues, we are committed to protecting the health and safety of the American people through prudent, science-driven measures, including the use of travel restrictions when recommended by U.S. public health authorities. We have no further changes to announce at this time,” a State Department spokesperson told The Worldwide Times.
It’s interesting that the DOS is talking about the health-aspects of the bans when in fact these bans are officially about protecting American jobs, and the CDC already put in place a new COVID-19 test requirement for international flights to the US.
Even more, even with skyrocketing U.S. unemployment, businesses that relied on foreign workers and were able to remain open during the pandemic struggled to fill jobs, employers said, WSJ reported.
“Unemployed American workers weren’t interested in jobs typically held by foreign hires at the lower and seasonal end of the job market, and the visa ban didn’t help those unqualified for specialized jobs at the higher end, according to Alex Nowrasteh, director of immigration studies at the libertarian Cato Institute”.
And besides the effects on the U.S. economy these bans have a much worse effect on families which are remaining separated, opposing the concept of family reunification that Biden supports.
This is just one example from this Valentine’s Day
Dear @POTUS and @FLOTUS let me introduce you my son Giulio. Today he turns 4 and this is how he can see his dad. Please be compassionate and #stopF2Aban @gsiskind @ckuck @EndFamilyBan @curtisatlaw @immlawACHall pic.twitter.com/DL2B9Qf3iq
— Stefania Martucci (@StefaniaMartuc2) February 14, 2021
These families along with Diversity visa holders and winners hope on the Biden administration promises and also on ongoing litigation against the proclamations in federal courts.
For all of them, each day matters.
After this article was published, there was a question on the issue to White House press secretary Jen Psaki on the daily press briefing.
Here are the question and the answer:
— Jovan Postoloski (@jofemk) February 16, 2021
Q And does the President plan to rescind these Trump-era restrictions on immigration and work visas that have dramatically limited immigration? They’re set to expire at the end of March. Will he let those expire naturally or will he rescind them before that?
MS. PSAKI: Let me talk to our Department of Homeland Security. It’s likely a conversation that would happen in coordination with them. Obviously, the President — his view is that the approach of the prior administration was immoral but also ineffective in terms of addressing the challenge — the many challenges of an outdated immigration system. But I don’t have an update on those particular requirements.
Of course, the logical question after this is why such an immoral but also ineffective policy is still in place, and even defended in courts by Biden’s DOJ?
Written by: Jovan Postoloski