Monday, 22 June 2020

Trump to Sign Order Suspending Many Foreign Work Visas, Officials Say

President Trump will sign an executive order suspending several categories of foreign work visas as part of an effort to limit entry into the United States during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, senior administration officials said.

Trump will sign an order suspending work visas, barring entry to foreigners and angering businesses.
President Trump will sign an executive order temporarily suspending work visas and barring hundreds of thousands of foreigners from coming to work in the United States, part of a broad effort by the administration to dramatically limit entry into the country during the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, senior administration officials said Monday.

The restrictions would block entry into the United States under the H-1B visa program for high-skilled workers, and would also affect several other categories of visas.

The order, which has been expected for several weeks, is fiercely opposed by a broad swath of businesses — including high tech companies in Silicon Valley, manufacturers, and others — who say it will block their ability to recruit critically needed workers from overseas countries for jobs that Americans are not willing or capable of performing.

Stephen Miller, the architect of the president’s assault on immigration, has pushed for years to limit or eliminate the worker visas, arguing that they harm employment prospects for Americans. In recent months, he has argued that the economic distress caused by the virus has made it even more important to turn off the spigot of foreign entry into the United States. In April, the president signed an executive order that suspended for 60 days the issuance of green cards to foreigners looking to live in the United States. But at the time, Mr. Miller and the president bowed to pressure from the business community to avoid imposing limits on the worker visas.

Monday’s order extends the green-card prohibition in addition to suspending the issuance of many of the worker visas. In addition, the administration officials said that the president will order new regulations to permanently change worker visas in the future so that foreign job offers go to more highly paid, highly-skilled workers that will compete less with Americans. The order includes exceptions for some categories of workers, including health care professionals needed to combat or do research about the virus.

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