Nearly 48 hours after declaring his intentions on Twitter, President Trump signed an executive order forbidding some immigrants from entering the United States.
While the move will likely affect thousands of people from other countries seeking to enter the U.S. legally, the move falls short of an outright ban, as the president initially claimed.
Who will the order affect?
The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, estimates the order will block roughly 52,000 green cards over the two months the order is in effect, keeping most people lawfully trying to enter the U.S. out, with a few exceptions. However, the impacts of the coronavirus have already mostly stopped immigration services.
The order doesn’t affect spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, armed forces members as well as their children and spouses, health care professionals or anyone arriving for national security or law enforcement reasons. It also does not apply to investor visas or special immigrant visas for Afghan and Iraqi nationals who have worked for the U.S. government.
Administration makes sweeping changes during the pandemic
Since the coronavirus pandemic squarely hit the U.S., the Trump administration has made several changes to the immigration system, from suspending hearings to quickly removing migrants arrested at the border and suspending admissions for refugees.
The White House has also used the pandemic to advance some of its most restrictive policies, in effect shutting down the southern border. While the order is set to expire after 60 days, the administration says it could be extended.