On Thursday, the US President Donald Trump extended pandemic-related restrictions on green cards and work visas to a large group of foreign applicants till 31 March 2021. The outgoing Trump administration had imposed these measures saying that they were necessary to protect American workers amid the pandemic-battered economy.
The restrictions were set to expire on 31 December 2020 but have been extended despite opposition from a broad range of businesses on a ban of certain foreign workers entering the United States.
A federal appeals court has also sided with Trump on a rule that requires new immigrants to have their own health insurance.
President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on 20 January, has criticized the restrictions, but it is unclear if the immediate measure will be taken to reverse the restrictions. Trump issued the bans in the form of presidential proclamations that could be swiftly undone.
At least 20 million people in the United States are dependant on unemployment benefits as the novel coronavirus continues to spread in the country.