Biden reopens gateway for work visas, green cards

White House
Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian/White House

Revokes Trump curbs denying people opportunity “to realize their dreams in the United States.”

Revoking a Trump-era ban on legal immigration, President Joe Biden has reopened America to temporary foreign workers, those seeking green cards as also diversity visa lottery recipients and family members of US citizens and permanent residents.

Former President Donald Trump’s proclamations of April 22, June 22, and December 31, 2020 freezing several types of visas citing Covid-19 pandemic, “does not advance the interests of the United States,” he said in a proclamation Wednesday.

“To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here,” Biden added.

“It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world. And it harms individuals who were selected to receive the opportunity to apply for, and those who have likewise received, immigrant visas through the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery.”

Trump had frozen “green cards” for new immigrants, and halted temporary work visas for skilled workers, managers and au pairs in the H-1B, H-4, H-2B, L-1 and J categories, to protect jobs.

He argued that the dramatic clamp down on legal immigration was vital to safeguarding the US labor market during pandemic.

But on Wednesday Biden said the earlier policy has prevented qualified and eligible non-US residents from entering the country, “resulting, in some cases, in the delay and possible forfeiture of their opportunity … and to realize their dreams in the United States.”

RELATED: Trump signs new immigration executive order; who will be affected? (April 22, 2020)

Biden administration’s reversal means that hundreds of thousands of Indian tech professionals and other foreign workers would not have to wait until the end of March to apply for the coveted H-1B visas.

Indian tech professionals have been getting more than two thirds of 65,000 H-1 B visas issued each year to American tech companies to hire highly skilled workers.

The halt was first enacted by Trump last April as an extension of the 2017 “Buy American, Hire American” executive order and was twice extended amid significant opposition from business groups.

The US Chamber of Commerce and National Associations of Manufacturers both filed lawsuits against the administration saying the policy was detrimental to the country’s economic interests.

Programs like the diversity visa lottery offers 50,000 visas to people from nations with a low rate of immigration to the US.

In a December proclamation, Trump claimed: “The admission of workers within several nonimmigrant visa categories also posed a risk of displacing and disadvantaging United States workers during the economic recovery following the Covid-19 outbreak.”

RELATED: Trump’s new immigration ban: H-1B visas spared, but Green Cards halted (April 21, 2020)

Here is the text of President Joe Biden’s proclamation issued on Feb. 24, 2021:

A Proclamation on Revoking Proclamation 10014

The suspension of entry imposed in Proclamation 10014 of April 22, 2020 (Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak), as extended by section 1 of Proclamation 10052 of June 22, 2020 (Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak), and section 1 of Proclamation 10131 of December 31, 2020 (Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Who Continue To Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak), does not advance the interests of the United States.

To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here.

It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world.  And it harms individuals who were selected to receive the opportunity to apply for, and those who have likewise received, immigrant visas through the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery.

Proclamation 10014 has prevented these individuals from entering the United States, resulting, in some cases, in the delay and possible forfeiture of their opportunity to receive Fiscal Year 2020 diversity visas and to realize their dreams in the United States.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 USC. 1182(f) and 1185(a), hereby find that the unrestricted entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of Proclamation 10014 is not detrimental to the interests of the United States.  I therefore hereby proclaim the following:

Section 1.  Revocation.  Proclamation 10014, section 1 of Proclamation 10052, and section 1 of Proclamation 10131 are revoked.

Sec. 2.  Review of Agency Guidance.  The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall review any regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions developed pursuant to Proclamation 10014 and, as appropriate, issue revised guidance consistent with the policy set forth in this proclamation.

Sec. 3.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This proclamation shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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