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By: Elisabeth Hall

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of law.  Just recently, Judge Jeffrey S. White of the US District Court of Northern California ruled that President Trump did not have the authority to suspend certain types of work visas.  The President’s order, known as Proclamation 10052, suspended the issuance of nonimmigrant work visas for a period lasting until at least December 13, 2020.  The visas suspended fell into the J, L, and H categories.

Picture2Trump’s reason for halting the issuance of the visas was because he felt they “presented a significant threat to employment opportunities for Americans affected by the extraordinary economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.”  Companies affected by Trump’s ban included major corporations like Microsoft, Exxon Mobile and Amazon.  They resisted the ban stating that they would suffer a severe labor shortage if these categories of visas were terminated.

In the end, the federal judge agreed with the corporations by stating that the proclamation “unlawfully eviscerates” portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  As a result, the corporations bringing the suit are now allowed to continue welcoming employees from abroad.

The University at Buffalo Law School’s COVID Response Legal Clinic provides legal assistance to help with many of the new legal needs that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID Response Legal Clinic can be reached by email at


Elisabeth Hall, Student Attorney

COVID Response Legal Clinic

JD, Class of 2021