By Ray O’Hanlon
It began, as it often does, with a Tweet.
It ended, as it often does, with a state of some confusion.
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But also with one clear cut effect: suspension of the Diversity Visa Lottery, virtually the only means by which Irish people can access a U.S. Green Card on a general, non-specialized basis.
At the beginning of the week, President Donald Trump signaled on Twitter that he would be moving to suspend immigration by way of an executive order, this on the grounds that it would protect American jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The move was also portrayed as a means of combatting Covid-19 itself, the “invisible enemy” as the president dubbed it.
This was stated in the face of the fact that just about all immigrants arriving, or due to arrive in the U.S., would be departing countries less ravaged by coronavirus than the United States, the most heavily infected country in the world.
At first it looked as if the immigration ban, initially for sixty days with the possibility of an extension, would be wide ranging.
President Trump duly signed the executive order, but reports indicate that its effect might be relatively limited because there are so many exemptions being applied for the likes of, and as the Washington Post reported, anyone who is currently in the country, those seeking entry to work as physicians and nurses, wealthy foreign investors, and the spouses and minor children of American citizens.
The 60-day pause also leaves untouched the hundreds of thousands of temporary work and student visas the U.S. issues each year, the Post report on Thursday stated.