Citing the COVID-19 crisis, the Trump administration has heavily restricted nearly every type of immigration. In April, for example, the President issued a 60-day travel ban, effectively halting the issuance of family-based and employment-based green cards. In response to objections from U.S. employers looking to hire foreign workers, the administration said it would avoid further restrictions on work visas.
However, the latest move is a temporary suspension of new work visas, which will prevent foreign workers from securing employment opportunities in the U.S. through the end of 2020. American employers have fiercely criticized this move, explaining that they need foreign workers to fill critical positions—especially during the pandemic.
This suspension affects a broad variety of positions, including highly skilled computer programmers, seasonal hospitality workers, and work-study programs. Fortunately, certain medical workers who are considered essential in the fight against COVID-19 are exempt from this ban.
Due to the suspension, American companies with international operations will not be able to transfer foreign employees (regardless of their level) to the United States. Foreign employees currently in the U.S. will not be able to bring their spouses into the U.S., either.
Combined with current green card restrictions, this suspension will prohibit more than half a million foreign workers from obtaining U.S. employment in 2020.
The Trump administration justifies this suspension because it supposedly limits Americans’ access to employment opportunities—especially now, amidst the rise of unemployment due to COVID-19.
Nevertheless, American business owners say that U.S. workers are either unwilling or unable to fill sorely needed positions. Work visas allow the U.S. to compete on a global scale by attracting the world’s top talent. This suspension, therefore, will slow investment and economic growth in the United States, while encouraging job creation and activity in other parts of the world.
Despite protests from U.S. employers, this suspension is part of a central pillar of Trump’s presidential campaign, which is to substantially curb immigration in all forms. Trump has advised the government to push for permanent changes that end “unfair competition” for American jobs. Although the pandemic-related immigration policies are said to be temporary, many worry they could be in place indefinitely. Both researchers and businesses believe these changes will substantially inhibit the U.S. economy’s recovery.
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At Simon Law Group, PLLC, our attorney is staying abreast of new policies that affect the immigration system so he can provide fully informed, highly effective counsel for our clients. If you have been affected by recent changes to immigration policies, let us help you navigate this terrain and accomplish your legal goals. Attorney Simon has personal experience as an immigrant, which is what motivates him to do everything in his professional power to help you succeed.