At 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on April 23, the Presidential Proclamation entitled “Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak (the ‘Proclamation’)” became effective for an initial period of 60 days.  The Proclamation may be extended beyond this initial 60-day period or otherwise modified upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Homeland Security (“DHS”) in consultation with the Secretary of State (“DOS”) and the Secretary of Labor (“DOL”).

What We Know About the Proclamation

The stated objectives of the Proclamation are to:

  • Ameliorate the impact of foreign workers on the U.S. labor market at a time of high domestic unemployment and depressed demand for labor
  • Conserve U.S. Department of State resources so consular officers, whose ranks have been reduced by COVID-19 related staffing disruptions, can focus on providing assistance to U.S. citizens and current U.S. permanent residents stranded abroad and in need of evacuation
  • Reduce the burden of excess labor supply affecting U.S. workers at the margin between employment and unemployment and who disproportionately fall in to historically disadvantaged groups, including minorities, workers without college degrees and the disabled
  • Address the ongoing failure of U.S. immigrant visa processes to require U.S. employers to account for the displacement of U.S. workers by foreign workers rather than directing foreign workers into sectors of the U.S. economy with a labor demand unmet by the U.S. labor supply
  • Limit the strain on the resources of U.S. healthcare systems by avoiding entry of additional new permanent residents and permitting U.S. healthcare systems to prioritize the healthcare needs of U.S. citizens and a rising U.S. permanent resident population.

Read more here to find out how the proclamation seeks to achieve these objectives as well as exemptions and analysis of the impact on employers.