2 min read.Updated: 22 Apr 2020, 10:24 AM IST Written By Anulekha Ray
The aim is to protect American workers amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic
Trump's latest restriction on immigration is likely to impact thousands of Indian nationals who are waiting for their Green Cards
Amid coronavirus outbreak, the United States has halted the issuing of new Green Cards for the next 60 days. On Monday, US President Donald Trump suspended immigration into the country. The aim is to protect the American workers amid the deadly pandemic. "By pausing immigration, it will help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens," Trump said at his daily briefing on coronavirus pandemic.
However, this move will not impact those entering the United States on a temporary basis. Trump's latest restriction on immigration is likely to impact thousands of Indian nationals who are waiting for their Green Cards. America has a provision to issue 1,40,000 employment-based Green Cards every year. In 2019, Indian nationals received 9,008 category 1 (EB1), 2,908 category 2 (EB2), and 5,083 category 3 (EB3) Green Cards. Around 227,000 Indian nationals are in line to get a family sponsored Green Card, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
"We must first take care of the American worker. This pause will be in effect for 60 days, after which need for any extension or modification will be evaluated by myself and a group of people based on economic conditions at the time," Trump said.
Donald Trump has also imposed broad travel restrictions on China, Europe, Canada and Mexico in the wake of coronavirus. The United States is the worst affected country by COVID-19 infection. America recorded the highest number of deaths related to coronavirus at over 43,000. More than 22 million US workers have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus pandemic throttled the country's economy.
Trump also added that the US administration will examine various immigration-related measures in future to protect America. This sudden pause on immigration can be beneficial as the US can conserve medical resources for American citizens, Trump added.
"We want to protect our US workers, and I think as we move forward, we will become more and more protective of them," he said.
Earlier, the US government agreed to extend H-1B visas of Indians stranded in America amid pandemic. On Tuesday, the Indian government told Supreme Court that it would not be possible to evacuate Indian citizens stranded in the US due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic at this stage.
"They cannot be brought in, no matter how much we want. Assistance is being given to them. They are spread across US and cannot be brought back. The US government is extending the visas. Let us wait for some time," the Supreme Court bench observed.