Biden cancels Trump-era ban on green card applicantsLast updated on Feb 25, 2021, 09:52 am
On Wednesday, United States President Joe Biden revoked a proclamation from Donald Trump, his predecessor, that banned the issuance of green cards. Known as Presidential Proclamation 100014, the order from the former President spoke about protecting jobs in the US amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Rejecting this argument, Biden overturned the decision through an executive order, the White House said.
Background: In view of the pandemic, Trump levied curbs
Last spring, Trump had halted the issuance of green cards until 2020 end, saying this move would protect the coronavirus-battered market.
"It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad," he had said.
Days before he was to exit the Oval Office, Trump extended this ban till March 31.
Trump's decision affected family-based preference visas, lottery winners
Trump's decision, naturally, had far-reaching consequences. According to the American Immigrant Lawyers Association, a staggering 120,000 family-based preference visas were lost in the 2020 budget year.
Immigrants couldn't bring over family members unless they were US citizens applying for visas for their spouses or children, aged under 21.
Moreover, it also affected thousands of visa lottery winners, chosen among 14 million applicants.
New White House administration dubbed the previous order 'harmful'
Overturning the controversial diktat, the White House said the earlier decision doesn't "advance the interests of the United States. (sic)"
In fact, it harms the country by "preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here," the statement went on.
The decision was also detrimental to the industries that employed talent from across the globe.
Immigration lawyer is thrilled with Biden's move
Welcoming Biden's decision, Curtis Morrison, an immigration lawyer based in California, said, "I'm thrilled that Biden has canceled this proclamation."
But Morrison also expressed concern over the backlog of hundreds of thousands of visa applications.
"That backlog may take [Biden's] entire first term to clear out unless he is ambitious to doing something to solve that problem," he told Al Jazeera.
Earlier, Biden halted the construction of infamous wall
After taking office on January 20, Biden, a Democrat, reversed several of Trump's policies.
He had halted the construction of the infamous wall along the US-Mexico border and asked the administration to probe into the legality of using federal money to fund this project.
He had also overturned a ban that Trump imposed on visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations.
(With PTI Inputs)