Vaccine Mandate for Green Card Applicants
Immigrants planning on seeking lawful permanent residency will be required to show proof of vaccination. In a statement released by the United Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency will start enforcing the requirement starting October 1st. Applicants subject to the immigration medical examination must be fully vaccinated from Covid-19 unless certain exemptions are met. According to USCIS “blanket waivers” may be granted for the Covid-19 vaccination if:
- The applicant is not eligible based on their age
- They have underlying medical conditions
- The vaccine is not routinely available at the place of practice of the civil surgeon “eligible physicians”
- There is a low supply causing a significant delay
The order grants personal exemptions for “moral convictions” or religious beliefs. An additional waiver is required.
Nearly nine months have passed since the first Covid-19 vaccine was administered to an American healthcare worker. The three authorized Covid-19 vaccines have been readily available over the past few months. Unfortunately, millions of Americans have averted the shot. Recently, vaccination rates have seen only incremental advancements in a handful of states. There has been ample time and evidence brought forward on the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine. Although vaccines don’t create 100% immunity, they still offer a form of protection. Those who remain eligible and continue to refuse to get vaccinated are contradicting the science.
The Issue of Vaccines
The controversy of getting vaccinated has been bolstered by both political parties. Early on, many Democrats including the current Vice President portrayed doubt in Covid-19 vaccines. Critics have pointed to Harris’s comments during the 2020 Vice Presidential debate that spurred distrust in the vaccine. Harris advised she would not take the vaccine if it were promoted by then President Trump. “If Donald Trump tells us we should take it, I won’t.” To her defense, Harris remarked that her trust rests in the recommendation of health experts. “If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely.”
Republicans have been on the offensive by banning mask mandates and “vaccine passports.” A prominent opponent of such proposals is Florida Governor Ron Desantis. His administration has recently prevailed in retaining its controversial anti-school mask mandate which was upheld by the first circuit. A commonality among states with no mask mandates and low vaccination rates is increased infection rates. States that have been actively masking and vaxing against Covid-19 have seen reduced infections and hospitalizations among vaccinated individuals. Scientific studies have been readily available that support getting vaccinated. Remaining unvaccinated can put you, your loved ones, and your community at greater risk.
President Biden has at times taken a forceful stance when it comes to taming the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, some of his efforts and promises have faltered. The pandemic is loosely under control. Low vaccination rates and increasing transmissions are slowing down our capacity to overcome Covid’s impact. Last Thursday the President took a bold move by mandating all federal employees be vaccinated. He extended the mandate to companies with a hundred or more employees but included an option to undergo weekly testing. The actions undertaken by the Biden administration have the sole purpose of protecting the health of millions of Americans. With new variants becoming increasingly worrisome, vaccines will play an important part in combating their spread. Do your part and get vaccinated.
Are you or a loved one planning on applying for lawful permanent residency or legal status? Contact our results-centered Connecticut immigration attorneys at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome. We pride ourselves on delivering personalized and competent legal representation. Whatever your status, our legal team may be able to help you on your immigration journey. For nearly two decades, Attorney James A. Welcome has represented clients from all walks of life, advocating for the rights of thousands of immigrants.
We encourage you to do your research before choosing an attorney to represent you. Don’t settle when it comes to your case. Contact us today at (203) 753-7300 to find out more. Did you know our immigration consultations are designed to help you get the answers to your most pressing questions? We’ll offer valuable legal insight that’s focused on your case. Book a video consultation from anywhere in the country and speak with an award-winning law firm. We’re just a call, chat, or email away!