Details on the new restrictions on legal immigration to the United States
The President explained the introduction of temporary restrictions on the issuance of a number of work visas with high unemployment, which has increased in the country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
President Donald Trump signed on Monday, June 22, a decree to suspend the admission of foreigners to the United States, increasing competition in the American labor market following the coronavirus outbreak. «Voice of America» studied who will be subject to the decree, who will be affected by the innovations and what effect the new restrictions may have on the labor market and the economy as a whole.
In general, the decree tightens and expands the restrictions on the issuance of work visas to foreigners and limits legal immigration to the United States. The order blocks the issuance of various types of work visas until the end of the year – in particular, visas will temporarily cease to be issued to official resident governors, engineers and scientists who come to work in the United States for a limited period of time.
Who will be primarily affected by the innovation
The order applies to visas:
– H-1B for highly qualified IT employees (information technology), engineers, scientists;
– L-visas, which are often used to transfer foreign employees to other positions within the same company;
– J-1 visas, which are for those who participate in exchange or educational programs;
– H-2B visas for temporary workers in non-agricultural industries.
The decree will also affect the spouses and minor children of visa holders: they usually receive visas that prevent them from working in the States..
Whom the decree will not affect
The decree does not apply to those who already have valid visas or green cards – both domestically and internationally – or for those who have already applied for a green card or work American visa.
The restrictions will also not affect the spouses and children of US citizens, as well as professionals of special national interest. – an opinion on this must be given by the Department of State or the Department of Homeland Security.
Those who will not be affected by the decree also include the spouses or children of US citizens who provide services deemed essential to the country’s food supply, or those who benefit national interests as determined by the Department of State or Department of Homeland Security..
What was the White House administration guided by when issuing the decree
President Donald Trump said the decree aims to protect and preserve jobs for Americans in the face of high unemployment, increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decree was signed two months after the president announced the suspension of the issuance of green cards, which allow foreigners to obtain a residence permit in the United States and give the right to work. The suspension of the issuance of green cards was explained by the measures that need to be taken to facilitate the recovery of the American economy.
Who welcomed innovation
While the reaction to the presidential decree on Capitol Hill was largely negative, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas called the decree «important». Cruz said in a statement that the authorities «must focus on saving American lives and jobs in America. Therefore, I urged the President not to resume legal immigration during this dual crisis.».
NumbersUSA, a group advocating for restrictions on immigration policy, called the decision «unprecedented» and stated that it welcomes the President’s decision to temporarily suspend the entry of certain categories of immigrants and guest workers.
«For the more than 45 million Americans who lost their jobs during this pandemic, this decree represents a real opportunity to get jobs again at acceptable wages. Equally important, it provides an opportunity for American employers to expand their recruitment efforts in historically underserved areas and prove that Americans will do the job.», – NumbersUSA said in a statement.
Who opposed the decree
The immigration order drew criticism from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, usually a staunch defender of Trump, tweeted: «Legal immigration has a positive effect on the American economy», adding that this decree «will have a constraining effect on our economic recovery».
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, accused the president of trying «distracting the American public from its abhorrent refusal to fight the COVID-19 pandemic». The initiative of the president was also opposed by organizations for the protection of the rights of immigrants and other human rights organizations.
Business community reaction
The head of the US Chamber of Commerce Tom Donoghue said that the restriction on immigration will have a deterrent effect on the growth of the country’s economy.
«Restrictive changes in our country’s immigration system will push investment and economic activity abroad, slowing growth and reducing job creation», – said Donoghue.
Technology companies have also actively opposed.
«The decree undermines America’s greatest economic asset: its diversity. People from all over the world come here to join our workforce, pay taxes and contribute to our global competitiveness on the world stage», – said in a statement from the management of Twitter.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said immigration benefits not only Google, but America’s economy more broadly.
«Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global technology leader and making Google what it is today.», – wrote to Pichai, adding that he «disappointed» by presidential decree.
Alex Novrastekh, director of Immigration Research at the Cato Institute, believes the decline in immigration amid the health crisis «aggravate» economic damage caused by COVID-19 and delay economic recovery.
«During the pandemic, H-1B workers and other skilled IT migrants enabled many millions of Americans to keep their jobs while working remotely. Stopping this flow of skilled workers into the United States exactly when we need them most will only hurt hardworking people who are simply trying to survive in this devastating pandemic.», – says Novrastekh.
The Institute for Migration Policy has calculated that as a result of the administration’s actions, about 167,000 temporary workers will not be able to enter the United States, although this result – exactly what President Trump wanted by his decree