Biden Lifts Trump's Green Card Freeze

Republican's order halted most legal immigration
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2021 5:04 AM CST
Biden Ends Trump's Freeze on Legal Immigration
President Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Biden reversed yet another order from his predecessor Wednesday, lifting the "pause" on immigration that Donald Trump introduced in April last year. Biden said the Trump freeze on green cards, which was extended after being issued for an initial 60 days, did not protect the US economy as Trump claimed, the New York Times reports. "To the contrary it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here," Biden said. "It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world."

When he issued the order, Trump said it would protect American jobs during the pandemic, though critics accused the Republican of using COVID-19 as an excuse to push an anti-immigration agenda. Immigration lawyers say the freeze on issuing new green cards to people outside the US, which Trump extended until the end of March on Dec. 31, was blocking most legal immigration to the US, the AP reports. California-based immigration attorney Curtis Morrison says that without "ambitious measures," it could take years for the administration to clear the massive backlog of applications that built up while visa processing was shut down. "It's a backlog that Trump created," Morrison says, per the Guardian. "He broke the immigration system." (Read more immigration stories.)

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