The new order — which is expected to come with broad exceptions — comes as the administration continues to wrestle with high unemployment among American workers because of the coronavirus pandemic and tries to kick-start the economic recovery.
The order would target H-1B visas, which are designed for certain skilled workers such as those employed in the tech industry, as well as L-1 visas, which are meant for executives who work for large corporations.
The executive action is also expected to suspend H-2B visas for seasonal workers such as hotel and construction staff, and J-1 visas, which are meant for research scholars and professors and other cultural and work-exchange programs. Trump could renew the suspensions when they lapse. The order is not expected to immediately affect anyone already in the United States.
Back in April, Trump had already attempted to limit some immigration despite the coronavirus outbreak. That fact that there is an ongoing pandemic — even with some states "opening up" for the time being — the idea of restricting work travel seems like a moot point. On one hand, it does perhaps sound like a considerate gesture, by prioritizing employment for the record-number of Americans currently out of work. On the other hand, it also feels like an opportunistic attempt to say "Hey look I did the things I promised and I stopped immigration!" without actually stopping anything, because no one's travelling, let alone immigrating in search of work right now.
Trump Expected To Suspend H-1B, Other Visas Until End Of Year [Franco Ordoñez / NPR]
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