Morning all – I slept well last night and took a long walk on the beach. I hope you all are rested too. I took Curtis’ advice and I have been breathing and drinking water. 🙂 I suggest you all do the same. This has been a stressful time and I can see some of you are wound up like watch springs. So first. Breathe. Relax. Take a moment, take a walk.
Sometimes we need to win a war in small battles. That is what happened last night, we won an important battle, but the war is not over, and not everyone will make it. Make sure you understand that for a start. The goal was always to get as many people as possible through, but we have always assumed we wouldn’t get everything we wanted.
As I mentioned last night, I am thrilled that we made some progress and got an order to keeps hope alive. However, exactly how that will work is not clear yet, and I am concerned that you will all take little pieces of info, mix it all up, and make up 20,000 different versions of the truth. I am not in a position to give perfect clarity yet. Nor are the lawyers. They need time to interpret the order, they will be speaking to the government lawyers and the government will also be deciding how to implement the order. I think it will take several days to know where we stand. So – be ready for that delay and please allow us the time to respond accurately. So – if I direct you to this post, that is what I mean – WAIT! PLEASE!
For those that got visas issued prior to the Fiscal year deadline, firstly, many congratulations. You all worked hard, you pushed, you scrambled to make it to appointments and I have seen some incredible stories of struggles, and people helping and supporting each other. It fills my heart. For those that have been issued there are many questions. The embassies have caused much confusion with various formats of annotations on the visas. These visas sometimes mention an exception to a proclamation, but it is not clear whether the issuance of the visa itself was the exception (but the visa holder is still subject to the proclamation) OR whether that means the visa holder is exempted from the proclamation. That will need to be clarified – but I can say this.
The immigration ban remains in force until December 31. The only cases which are supposed to be exempt from the ban (i.e. could enter prior to the Dec 31 date) are those people who had visas prior to April 23, and recently got a re-issuance of that visa. That was described clearly in the first order.
The 14 day quarantine regional bans are also still in force. I’ll refer to them as the Schengen bans, although more countries are affected by similar bans. There was a second part of the order on September 14 that clarified that visas could be issued while the Schengen bans were in force, BUT AGAIN, the terms of those bans are still in effect. That means that if someone were not affected by the immigrant ban, they would still have to be outside of the Schengen bans area for 14 days prior to entering the USA. However, in practice, BOTH the immigrant ban AND the Schengen bans could both apply to you.
Now, it is also possible that Trump gets re-elected, and if he does he is likely to extend the immigrant ban (10014/10052) beyond December 31. If he does people holding visas will still be affected, but of course the legal battle is not over yet, so it’s possible we could find ways to block that. Indeed, there is a current lawsuit trying to do just that. So – let’s wait and see how that goes. Those of you that watched the first presidential debate will have seen Trump behaving like a petulent child. He did himself no favor with his idiotic performance. Of course a small minority of people probably liked what he did, but that minority is weakening daily. As long as Trump continues to behave like a fool, and as long as Biden takes the high road and stays alive, we should be seeing a Biden win (eventually, after some more lawsuits, possibly).
Lastly about the chances of being able to enter the USA at the moment. I am sure some people will be reporting that they entered the USA and activated their visas, even though the ban should not have allowed that. However, there is such confusion at the moment, that it would not surprise me at all if people managed to enter the USA and become LPRs during the period of the ban. I am not trying to encourage you to try, I’m just saying that some will try, and some will succeed.
Over the next few days we will figure out the terms of the extension and the implementation. WE will try and figure out how to tackle each case, each embassy that hasn’t helped, every scenario. But all that will take time.
So please, take note of what I am saying here. Try and hold your questions for now, there are no answers yet for many of the questions. Just wait, breath, and drink water.