Note that there are several pieces of legislation currently pending in the U.S. Congress, including the ‘HEROES Act.’ This Act has been passed by the House and is currently pending before the U.S. Senate. The legislation would make a number of changes in immigration laws such as for foreign nationals in the U.S. to remain living and working temporarily here and productively while the nation recovers. It also expands opportunities for foreign health and medical professionals, including foreign physicians, on the frontlines of the pandemic to utilize their skills that are needed. It requires critical steps that must be taken by the Administration to safeguard the health of people in immigration detention facilities and to reduce the number currently held in such facilities.
The bill would also provide additional needed financial assistance to individuals and families and small businesses struggling to survive the pandemic. Note that the American Immigration Lawyers Association strongly supports the HEROES Act. Most foreign nationals, including most of those on the frontlines against COVID-19, face mass uncertainty and are at risk of losing their lawful status because of expiring visas and work requirements that may be impossible to meet during this time. The legislation would provide flexibility where needed so individuals would not be out of legal status, particularly during a time when many of them cannot return to their home countries even if they so desired, given that some of their home countries have closed their borders and the cancellation of flights worldwide.