President Trump’s proclaimed immigration ban will exempt temporary foreign workers, the biggest source of immigration at the moment.
Trump announced that he will sign an executive order blocking most people for 60 days from receiving a permanent residency visa, or green card. But the order will still allow the government to continue processing visas for hundreds of thousands of temporary employees, including farm workers, landscapers and crab pickers — the largest source of immigration.
In the U.S., the Trump administration has restricted foreign visitors from China, Europe, Canada and Mexico, and has paused processing for immigrants trying to come into the U.S. on nonworker visas because of office closures. Trump has boasted that such moves demonstrated his administration’s serious and early response to the growing outbreak. Public health experts say the moves likely bought the U.S. some time but that the administration did not use that time to properly prepare for a domestic surge in cases.
Immigrants make up 17 percent of healthcare workers, 24 percent of direct-care workers, including the nurses and assistants, and 28 percent of high-skilled professionals in the field, including physicians and surgeons, according to Envoy Global, an immigration services provider.
The order is also expected to carve out additional exemptions for so-called essential employees, including health care workers, and immigrants who come into the United States through immediate family members, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Trump, who will sign the executive order as soon as Wednesday, said the measure will be reassessed in two months.