He'll Do It: Trump to Sign Order Suspending Foreign Worker Visas Through 2020
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One thing conservatives have been attempting to convince President Donald Trump to do following the loss of tens of millions of jobs due to coronavirus-related business closures was to shut off the guest-worker spigot, though the Chamber of Commerce wing of the Republican Party (and Democrats, of course) wanted no part of that.
It appears as though the ‘America Firsters’ in the GOP have won out though, and that’s a great thing not only for American workers but for our country and our economy.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, the president said he’ll be signing an executive order soon that directs the Department of Homeland Security not to approve any more H-1B visas for the remainder of the year.
The news site reports:
The new executive order is expected to go into effect at 11:59 PM ET on Monday, June 22. The order will suspend H-1B visas, H-2B visas, certain J visas, and L visas. The order will carve out exceptions for lawful permanent residents, foreign workers who are essential to the U.S. food supply, and any spouse or child of a U.S. citizen. Additionally, the order will also grant Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf the authority to admit any alien whose entry they deem would be in the national interest.
The Department of Homeland Security’s guidance says the order also implements steps to institute a “merit-based immigration system” by disallowing American companies to replace laid-off workers with immigrants, while blocking illegal immigrants from obtaining work permits.
“The President is taking decisive action to put American families and workers first in the reopening of the economy and DHS is proudly partnering with him to implement this important executive action,” Wolf said in a statement Monday. “This proclamation ensures Americans aren’t facing unfair competition as our economy begins to safely reopen. American citizens must be first in line for American jobs.”
In April, Trump issued an order temporarily halting legal immigration into the country amid the then-still-worsening coronavirus outbreak.
Though May saw a substantial amount of job growth as states reopened and the pandemic began to subside, unemployment currently remains high at about 13.3 percent.
As far back as March, just as COVID-19-related shutdowns of states and businesses was beginning, some conservatives were already pushing the president to curb H-1B visas, including Daniel Horowitz.
Writing at Conservative Review, Horowitz made the case that American citizens, first and foremost, should have dibs on jobs as they became available again:
With everything being canceled for Americans, isn’t it prudent to cancel the lottery to bring in more foreign workers? Even before the crisis, 71 percent of jobs in Silicon Valley went to foreign workers, and 74% of American STEM graduates overall failed to land jobs in STEM fields.
"Let’s be clear – these workers were never needed, and the law has never required employers asking for white-collar contract workers to show that they couldn’t find U.S. workers,” said Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies in an interview with CR.
“Most of these workers are brought in because they are cheaper, not because of a labor shortage or skills gap. They have already directly displaced hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers over the years.”