President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday expanding restrictions on immigration, placing a freeze on certain worker visas that will extend until the end of 2020. The order is an effort to give unemployed Americans less competition in the job market as the country recovers from the economic destruction brought by COVID-19 lockdowns.
What are the details?
According to NPR, the order issued by the president extends “a freeze on ‘green cards’ for new immigrants,” and suspends a slew of “temporary work visas for skilled workers, managers and au pairs through the end of the year.”
Fox News noted that President Trump signed an earlier executive order in April addressing immigration “that restricted some green cards but held off from restriction guest-worker programs.” The outlet further reported:
While other travel restrictions at the time were meant to curb coronavirus risk, the stated purposed of the immigration order was to help Americans in the job market after the pandemic put millions out of work.
The new order extends the measure and goes further by pausing new H-1 B tech worker visas, H-2B seasonal worker visas, certain J work and education exchange visitor visas and L executive transfer visas.
The proclamation from the White House states with millions of Americans still out of work, “under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.”
The Hill reported that “a senior administration official said the visa restrictions would free up more than half a million jobs for workers already in the country.”
Over the weekend, President Trump told Fox News of the order, “I think it’s going to make a lot of people very happy, and it’s common sense, I mean, to be honest with you. It’s common sense.”
White House: Trump administration to pause several visa categories through 2020