Chaos and confusion are mounting as President Trump’s new visa ban has stranded thousands of foreign-born U.S.-based employees and their families overseas. Already grappling with the closure of all overseas consular offices in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are now stuck across the world from their jobs, homes, and family (including U.S. citizen children). The visa ban’s impacts will be harmful for American businesses and workers already struggling in a dire economic climate, and will be further worsened by underlying problems in the legal immigration system that only Congress can fix.
While the Administration initially claimed the ban would not impact current visa-holders, the reality has been much different, particularly for H-1B visa holders and their families. These difficulties are particularly infuriating because many of these individuals should have permanent status already, and would be exempt from these bans if not for administrative backlogs that have kept them stuck in limbo with temporary status for years.