US President Donald Trump wants to stop green card applicants from getting into the country for at least 60 days. What exactly does it mean and does he have the power to do it? DW has the facts.
Pledging to "protect American workers," US President Donald Trump announced he would be ban immigrants from seeking green cards, the documents granting them the right of permanent residency in the country.
Who will be affected?
The ban will affect only legal migrants seeking US residency. The Permanent Residency Card, also known as a green card, allows people to permanently live and work in the United States and opens a path to US citizenship.
The US has issued around 1 million green cards in the 2019 fiscal year, about half of them to close family members of US citizens.
Who will be exempt?
Trump said the order was yet to be finalized and would have exemptions, but he did not provide details about whom the exemptions would apply to. While the order would stop the government from issuing green cards, Trump did not clarify if it would also target people who have already secured jobs and residence permits in the US but have not yet arrived in the country.
The new ban would not affect temporary workers, such as farm laborers, or tourists, business travelers, and skilled workers on non-permanent visas. However, Trump said "additional immigration-related measures" could be taken later.
How long will the ban last?
Trump is expected to sign the ban into force on Wednesday, and the measure is expected to stay in effect for at least 60 days. It could, however, be extended by another 60 or a "lot longer" than that, Trump said.
The US president also said he would be looking economic data before deciding if he wanted to prolong the immigration ban, implying that a strong economic recovery would make lifting the ban more likely.
Is the executive order legal?
Trump has attempted to block immigration on multiple occasions since taking office in January 2017. In 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled that the president can block entry to specific groups of foreign nationals if they are deemed a security threat.
The Immigration and Nationality Act from 1965 also gives the president power to bar entry to any foreign group he deems "detrimental" to US interests. However, Trump's initiatives are often disputed in court and it possible the latest decision would also prompt lawsuits.
Trump has used national security concerns to justify imposing travel bans in the past, including the ban on arrivals from seven predominantly Muslim countries in 2017 and the latest ban on travelers from Europe in February.dj/sms (AP, Reuters)