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Activists sue over Trump’s coronavirus immigration pause

Immigrant-rights activists filed a lawsuit Thursday asking a federal judge to block part of President Trump’s coronavirus immigration pause, saying that blocking the arrival of some children of U.S. residents could set them back decades in their quest to immigrate.

Children under age 21 are able to immigrate as a matter of course if their parents are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. But those over 21 usually face a much tougher, and longer, path.

The lawsuit says Mr. Trump’s immigration pause will push some would-be immigrants past their 21st birthday, setting them back.

That amounts to an illegal family separation, the lawsuit says, attempting to compare it to the administration’s ill-fated zero tolerance border policy from 2018, which saw thousands of children separated from illegal immigrant parents at the U.S.-Mexico boundary.

“It’s absolutely ludicrous and heartless that people are forced to sue their own government in order to be with their own kids,” said Esther Sung, a lawyer at the Justice Action Center, which is one of the groups that filed the lawsuit on behalf of immigrants who say they are snared by the policy.

One plaintiff, Domingo Arreguin Gomez, has been a legal resident of the U.S. for 30 years, and is trying to sponsor his step-daughter to immigrate from Mexico. But she turns 21 in June, and if she doesn’t arrive before then, she’ll be put into a different queue for immigration — one with a decades-long backlog.

Mr. Trump’s immigration pause, announced in April, blocks tens of thousands of would-be immigrants from arriving. The president says he is trying to protect out-of-work Americans from having to compete with the new immigrants as the economy begins to recover from the coronavirus.

He did include a number of carve-outs, including for military families and for wealthy foreigners who are trying to obtain an EB-5 visa, also dubbed the “Golden Visa” because it can be bought in exchange for a minimum investment of $ 900,000 in U.S. business interests.

Mr. Trump, in his April proclamation, did not suspend temporary worker programs. Analysts say those guest workers present a bigger source of competition for jobs than immigrants.

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Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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