Thousands of green card applicants and foreign workers will be able to travel to the USA more easily in the future. President Joe Biden lifted most of the entry bans enacted by his predecessor Donald Trump on Wednesday. The regulations prevented family reunions and harmed the US economy, Biden said. The coveted green cards are long-term work permits for the USA.
Trump justified the restrictions last year with the aim of protecting US citizens because of the high unemployment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The ex-president’s ordinance suspended the issuing of certain work visas, but family reunification was also made more difficult. The so-called green card lottery, in which up to 55,000 people receive permanent residence permits every year, was also blocked. At the turn of the year, Trump extended the regulation again until March 31.
Lawyers representing those affected are now warning of a large number of pent-up applications. Their processing could therefore take years.
During his election campaign, Biden had promised a swift departure from Trump’s tough immigration policy. He has already reversed several other Republican ordinances in the past few weeks. He also advocates a large-scale reform of US immigration law.