April 21, 2020 – You probably have heard by now about President Trump’s tweet last night saying he will issue an executive order to suspend immigration due to COVID-19. Based on past patterns with executive orders, it could be in final drafting today, or it could come out within a few days.
So far, it’s unclear whether he intends to apply the suspension only to people outside the U.S. seeking to come here, only to new hires and not extensions for continuing employment, only for visa applications at consular posts – or if he wants to impose this across the board, to affect adjudications at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of Labor, including H-1B, TN, E-3, L-1, and I-485 adjustment of status for current employees and cases already submitted for adjudication.
Employers should act today, before this executive order is finalized. Contact the White House, your congressional delegation, your state leaders, and your business and professional organizations to express how a suspension of immigration could impact your organization adversely.
Here are some important points to cover:
- Employers rely on available visa categories and plan accordingly, so suspending immigration on short notice has direct adverse consequences for the economy.
- It’s only feasible and economical for employers to offer immigration sponsorship for hard-to-fill positions for which U.S. workers are in short supply, so suspending immigration wouldn’t be an effective measure to put U.S. workers unemployed due to COVID-19 back to work.
- Immigration sponsorship is a substantial workforce investment for employers, and suspending immigration processing denies employers the benefit of these investments.
- Employers need more governmental support to recover from COVID-19 interruptions, not more barriers to hiring and retaining employees.
Once an executive order is issued and we’ve had an opportunity to analyze it, we will report back about how it will affect pending immigration cases.
For more information about immigration law, you can reach out to Leigh Cole, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (415) 835-9001.
Questions about COVID-19 and the workplace? Contact the Hirschfeld Kraemer lawyer who normally provides your legal advice, or Dan Handman, email@example.com, (310) 255-1820.
For employer-focused information about COVID-19 and the workplace:
Click here for Hirschfeld Kraemer’s EMPLOYER’S GUIDE TO CORONAVIRUS