On August 7th, President Trump signed four presidential memoranda aimed at providing another round of economic stimulus and financial assistance for unemployed workers. The White House has been negotiating with Congressional leaders for several weeks on legislation that would extend many of the emergency economic programs established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and provide additional aid to the economy that is still struggling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the CARES Act was enacted in March with overwhelming bipartisan support, the White House and Congressional leaders have been unable to reach agreement on another legislative package. The parties have deadlocked over the inclusion of aide to the states (sought by Congressional Democrats), COVID-19 liability protections (sought by GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell), and the amount of enhanced unemployment benefits (Congressional Democrats have sought to extend the CARES Act’s $600 per week; the White House and Congressional Republicans have sought to lower the amount to around $300 per week). In addition, the parties have sharply different views on the overall spending level for the next bill. In May, House Democrats passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which would provide $3 trillion dollars in stimulus, while Senate Republicans have introduced a $1 trillion stimulus bill.

Continue Reading Presidential Directives to Provide Fiscal Relief and Economic Stimulus in Response to Hardships Caused by COVID-19

In a sweeping attempt to curb legal immigration, the Trump administration issued a proclamation on June 22, 2020, applying a ban through the end of the calendar year on four visa categories of significance to US companies: the H-1B visa for specialty occupation professionals, the L-1 visa for intracompany executives and managers, the H-2B visa

In a tweet late Monday, April 20, 2020, President Trump said he will issue an executive order temporarily suspending immigration  “in light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy” and the “need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.” The White House did not provide any immediate clarification, including when an executive order would be signed.

Presidents enjoy wide latitude when it comes to unilaterally setting immigration policy, including restrictions to entry of aliens or classes of aliens.  Section 212(f) of the Immigration & Nationality Act provides the president with the authority to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants,” or “impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate,” whenever the president finds that such entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States,” for “such period as he shall deem necessary.” 8 U.S.C.  §1182(f).
Continue Reading Trump Says He Will Temporarily Suspend Immigration Because of Coronavirus Pandemic