US President Joe Biden has lifted a restriction placed on the issuance of green cards.
In April 2020, former President Donald Trump blocked the issuance of new green cards as a move to “protect American jobs”.
He had argued that the ban, which blocked US permanent residence for Nigerians and other countries, was needed to protect US workers amid the high unemployment rate induced by the coronavirus pandemic.
But in a proclamation issued on Wednesday, Biden said the ban has caused much harm with no good.
“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,” the New York Times quoted him to have said
“It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world. By pausing immigration, we will help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens.
“It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labour flown in from abroad. We must first take care of the American worker.”
The proclamation is the latest in a series of presidential actions Biden has taken to upend policies introduced by the Trump administration.
Immediately after his inauguration in January, he lifted the ban on immigrant visa which Trump had imposed on Nigeria and six other countries after expanding his controversial immigration policies.