Immigration ban and quarantine: DV-2020 Green Card Lottery winners ask Trump for help

Winners of the DV-2020 green card lottery may lose the opportunity to become legal permanent residents of the United States due to both quarantine and President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban. A group of green card applicants from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries created a petition on the White House website asking the president for help.

Winners of the DV-2020 green card lottery, who are required to apply and be interviewed by Sept. 30, 2020, to be eligible for lawful permanent resident status in the United States, may not have time to do so: on April 22, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting immigration to the country, which will be valid for 60 days and can then be removed or renewed.

“We are the lucky ones chosen in the DV-2020 lottery. Please don’t let us lose this Great Opportunity!” – reads the title of a petition created on April 26, 2020. And here is its text:

“Good afternoon, Mr. President! Our families have a dream to live and work in the United States. And now our dream has begun to come true. We are the lucky ones from many countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus… selected for DV-2020, some of us had scheduled our interviews and received our green cards before your proclamation went into effect and managed to go to the United States, others cancelled their interviews or cannot go because of Covid-19 because embassies around the world are closed, and now we are very concerned that we will not have time to interview before the final date of September 30, 2020 and get our long-awaited visas due to the suspension of visas due to your executive order, Mr. President. We respect you and ask you to help us.”

The White House website states that the petition works as follows: you need to create a petition, share it with others to form a community that joins the application. If the petition reaches 100,000 votes in 30 days, the White House must review it and respond formally within 60 days.

As of 3 p.m. ET on May 4, 3,122 people had signed the petition and signature collection will end May 26.

To remind, on April 22 U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order restricting immigration to the country for 60 days, after which the restriction can be removed or extended. The president cited the main reason for the new restrictive measures as a concern for preserving “jobs for our great American citizens” amid a pandemic coronavirus infection.

“To protect our great American workers, I just signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration to the United States. This ensures that unemployed Americans from all walks of life will be first in line for jobs once the economy opens. We will also conserve our medical resources. We have to take care of our patients, our workers, so we did,” Trump said on the evening of April 22.

Shortly thereafter, the text of the executive order was published on the official White House website.

The new restrictions apply only to aliens who have not yet applied for immigration papers in the U.S. and are now overseas. The ban applies to aliens residing outside the United States and wishing to migrate to the United States legally through immigration visas or green cards, with some exceptions.

The Migration Policy Institute, an independent think tank, estimated that the executive order would block the issuance of about 26,000 green cards a month or 52,000 over its entire 60-day period. It is worth noting that the pandemic has already significantly halted the flow of immigration into the U.S.: countries have imposed border restrictions, visa services have been suspended, as has the admission of refugees.

The ban does not apply to aliens already holding immigrant visas to the United States, holders of valid green cards, or citizens of other countries who are in the United States and intend to obtain legal residency in the country, based on current immigration rules.

The order does not apply to: the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens; health care professionals, including doctors and nurses, who “participate in the fight against COVID-19”; U.S. military personnel, their spouses and children; or anyone serving in law enforcement or national security services. The order also does not apply to the issuance of visas for investors. To get such a document a foreigner must invest in the U.S. economy from 500 thousand dollars to 1 million dollars and within two years to create at least 10 jobs.

In addition, the new restrictions do not apply to foreigners whose relocation to the United States is in the interests of American law enforcement or national security interests, as well as applicants for special visas for citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan, who assisted American troops.

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