Trump To Sign Executive Order Expanding Immigration Restrictions

Posted on 06/24/20

In the coming days, President Donald Trump is expected to sign sweeping immigration restrictions in response to the economic downturn the country has been faced with. New work visa restrictions will limit the number of immigrants allowed to work within the United States legally. In April, the administration suspended some forms of immigration citing the “the impact of foreign workers on the United States labor market, particularly in an environment of high domestic unemployment and depressed demand for labor” and the pressures associated with an already overwhelmed healthcare system due to a lack of readiness by Federal and State governments.

The April order suspended immigrants applying for green cards and other visas for nearly 60 days, pending another assessment at the end of that period. Democrats criticize the actions as being anti-immigrant and will further the United States’ economic distress. Some immigration restrictionists also vocalized their disdain for the move as failing to suspend H-1B and H-2B programs that allow guest workers. Business leaders have advocated for continuing such programs as they continue to be vital to business recovery while others argue they have taken away jobs from American workers.

Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said in April that additional steps will be taken before the 60-day deadline expires in the coming days. In an article by NPR, some sources stated that H-1B, H-2B, L-1 for business executives, and J-1 visas for teaching and exchange programs will be suspended indefinitely for the remainder of the year. The Federation of American Immigration Reform had previously vocalized their concerns about immigration and such additional steps will reflect the priorities of such groups. Back in April, the group wrote in a letter to the president “These visas — notably H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 — are unnecessary given the economic conditions facing American households,” FAIR President Dan Stein said.

The order has had some business executives arguing against the program as restrictive to a fair and fast economic recovery that the president claims to want to address. “As the economy rebounds, American businesses will need assurances that they can meet all their workforce needs. To that end, it is crucial that they have access to talent both domestically and from around the world,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue wrote to Trump.

Such actions by the administration are counterproductive to the success of the nation and will ultimately cause further economic discourse amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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