Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    Coronavirus: New Travel Ban, and Re-Opening America

    By Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ

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    Over the last few days, it’s be difficult to predict the progress of the Coronavirus. It has been very hard to foresee how much worse things will get and the consequences thereof versus how quickly social distancing will slow down the spread of the Coronavirus so that businesses can re-open. Also, we have a president, no offense, that appears to be in over his head, in terms of how to decisively lead the country through these extraordinary times. So, here are my 2 cents.
     
    Looking for a Scapegoat
     
    Our president has steadfastly refused to take on the battle of defeating the Coronavirus head on for reasons unknown. Moreover, our President is refusing to unify Americans nationwide with a plan and a vision as to how we’re going to get through this temporary crisis. The President is supposed to be the most powerful person in the world; able to command and deploy resources to support each state with the stroke of his pen, unfortunately, this has not been the case.
     
    When it became clear to the President that the Coronavirus was not a hoax, the President started to look for a scapegoat. First, the President began to blame China for not being more transparent early on, then he blamed the World Health Organization for not stressing how virulent the virus was, then he blamed the Governors for not having the foresight to preempt and prepare for the Coronavirus. While the President has failed in leadership, over 40,000 American lives have been lost to the Coronavirus and the President is now desperately looking for cover.
     
    Yesterday, the President in another effort to change the news cycle announced that this week he would be signing an Executive Order banning all incoming immigration to the U.S. So, now lawful immigrants to the U.S. who for the most part cannot travel here anyway, are the latest scapegoats to deflect attention away from the President’s failure in leadership.
     
    Global Travel Ban?
     
    If the President goes ahead and signs his Executive Order to ban all immigration to the U.S.A., it will certainly run into a barrage of legal challenges in the courts as such a move would be seen to be so overly draconian, that to coin his latest adopted phrase, ‘the treatment would be worse that the cure’.
     
    The Executive Order would create chaos in the Immigration system. For example, what about all those Americans who are in the process of securing green cards for their alien spouses and children, how are they going to react. What about all those people who have paid lawyers and U.S. immigration fees to have their work visas, and green cards processed or recently approved, and now just waiting on the various U.S. Embassies to re-open so that they could get their visas stamped to enter the U.S. lawfully. What about all those companies who have spent millions of dollars on immigration fees to secure vital workers to enable their businesses to grow. What about all those alien investors who are mid-way through setting up or purchasing their U.S. businesses to create American jobs.
     
    Politically Weaponizing the Coronavirus
     
    In an election year, the President is in real trouble. The President came into power on a wave of claims that he’d ‘Make American Great Again’, and here we are, as President Bush found himself, at the precipice of a recession having seen 22 million Americans file for unemployment for the first time, in just four weeks. The stock market having lost all of its gains in a recent years, and yes, not only did Mexico not pay for ‘The Wall’, there is no wall to speak of, except a few miles of here and there, and repairs to existing sections. We did not get a “beautiful wall” from coast to coast, instead we have the Coronavirus laying waste to economies all over all the world. It’s very hard to campaign for re-election when the bulk of your signature policies appear to have come to nothing.
     
    The Road to Recovery
     
    The truth is that America will bounce back as the pandemic subsides. No pandemic lasts forever. So, let’s walk through some of the steps to recovery. Ok, 12-18 months from now, we’ll definitely have a vaccine, and once that’s in place, we can finally say goodbye this to particular virus, and life will truly get back to normal. There are almost 20 clinical trials testing the efficacy of various potential vaccines and they are being fast tracked so we could get an FDA approved vaccine within 12 months. Over the next 6-12 months there are range of Coronavirus treatments, drugs and therapies being developed and tested that are making their way to market. Over the next 3-6 months, we are in the midst of Social Distancing which has definitely slowed the rate of transmission of the Coronavirus in the states where this has been practiced the longest and with the most discipline. So, we do have a clear roadmap to recovery.
     
    Re-Opening Businesses
     
    America’s economy has to re-open as soon as possible. Americans in general, especially the poorest do not have six months of savings to support themselves without the ability to get an income. Most Americans, sadly live paycheck to paycheck, and so just missing one paycheck can turn their lives upside down and it has. So, ready or not, we will see businesses opening back up prematurely for sure. However, with the adornment of masks, gloves and Social distancing, reopening of many businesses is possible sooner rather than later.
     
    I went to my bank yesterday for the first time in a couple of weeks, they had someone at the door wearing a mask and gloves limiting the number of guests that could enter, there was 6-foot tape on the floor spacing where people could stand outside and inside. Once I’d gotten inside, the bank teller had a mask and gloves on, plus a plexiglass barrier between us, and a tape barrier preventing me from being able to get close the actual counter. I had to swipe card as the teller no longer handles them. The only document that was exchanged was paperwork I had to sign. By the way, I had a mask and gloves on too. It was all very strange but, I was able to get my in-person banking done as safely as humanly possible. My point is that for most businesses, with a creativity and imagination, most businesses can re-open.
     
    Will the Economy Re-Bounce Quickly?
     
    The only reason why the economy slowed right down was because of the virus, there were no underlying factors, as far as I was aware of, and I’m no economist, that would otherwise drive down the economy. For example, there was no housing bubble, run-away stock market or inflation, interest rates were historically very low and there was no credit boom. In other words, the economy was ticking over quite nicely, I guess the President can take credit for that. So, the great slowdown was solely due to the virus. My view is this, in May we will see the shut-down (Shelter-in-Place orders) gradually being lifted in limited ways. Over the period of June thru August, we will see more businesses open up as by then, for the states that were the most disciplined with their Shelter in Place order and Social distancing, their incidents of infections will have dropped significantly.
     
    By September, we should be seeing a number of Coronavirus therapies begin to come to market that will instill more confidence in society to enable more facilities, perhaps schools to re-open. So, whilst I do not see a speedy recovery, I do see a steady, progressive recovery, even if there are minor setbacks along the way, where some states may have jumped the gun prematurely in their re-opening.
     
    U.S. Immigration Planning
     
    If you are already here in a visa, then nothing the President has announced yesterday regarding his plan to ban global immigration, should affect you. Press on with your immigration plans as normal. However, if you are outside the U.S. looking to come in because you have a pending or recently approved application, then things do look uncertain.
     
    Travel Bans are very difficult to make stick, it took three attempts for the President’s last travel ban to make it through the courts and the third version was quite watered down from the first version. I would anticipate that there will be many legal challenges to any new Travel Ban, with injunctions (suspension of any travel ban coming in to effect) being put in place so the matter could work its way to the Supreme Court by which time the case could well be moot.
     
    For those who have not started their immigration application because their immigration horizon is 6-18 months out, then the longer your time horizon, then I say carry on as normal. For those looking to enter the U.S. within the next 3-6 months, talk to us so we can not only monitor the situation together, but so that we can figure out the perfect time to make your application.
     
    Right now, we already have an unofficial ban of sorts, since the Embassies are closed for visa stamping. We are watching this space closely, and as we learn more we’ll share more. Ok, this is all I can cover for now, but I’ll get another newsletter out as soon as there are more significant developments to outline.
     
    I wish you all the very best. Please stay safe, stick to social distancing and all the other safety advice out there.
     
    P.S. I have a lot more to write on other topics, I’ll try and get another newsletter out asap.
     

     

    Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
    Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
    Admitted in New York.
    Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
    401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
    [Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
    Santa Monica,
    California 90401
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    Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.

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