US President Donald Trump has suspended visas for foreign workers until December this year due to the coronavirus epidemic. He also has several green card applications pending.
Trump issued an executive order Monday night suspending all visas, including H-1B, for the current year. At the same time, he instructed the administration to move towards merit-based immigration, not a lottery for future visas, the White House said. However, those who already have these visas will not be affected.
Highly skilled technicians, seasonal non-agricultural workers and top executives are expected to be affected by the order. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley, the country’s technology capital, has expressed outrage at the order.
The White House says the move will create jobs for economically disadvantaged Americans due to the epidemic. But critics say the White House is using the coronavirus epidemic to tighten immigration laws. News from BBC and CNN.
The visas President Trump has introduced for hiring foreign workers include H-1B (skilled and educated in special professions), H-2B visas (service and seasonal work), L-1 visas (inter-company transfers) and J-1 visas. Students-researchers and physicians are given temporarily).
The White House said in a statement that President Trump had issued an administrative decree imposing a temporary moratorium on foreigners’ work permit visas. No more work visas will be issued till the end of this year, i.e. till December 31.
A senior White House official said: “The suspension of these visas will create new job opportunities for at least 525,000 unemployed Americans. Moreover, the president’s decision will raise both wages and skills levels. At the same time, entry-level jobs will eliminate the competition for jobs with U.S. citizens.
The administration issued lockdowns in several states in the United States due to the corona infection. As a result, 33.3 millions people have become unemployed in the country till last May. Unemployment has led President Trump to tighten visa requirements for foreign nationals.
According to the U.S. Department of Immigration, about 133,000 workers were granted H-1B visas in 2019. More than 12,000 temporary workers traveled to the United States on L-1 visas. And 98,000 workers were given H-2B visas. In all, about 240,000 foreign workers’ visas have been suspended since Trump’s new announcement. The new order will be effective from June 24.
IT workers from India and China travel to the United States mainly on H-1B visas. The country’s new media has reported that India is being harmed by the new decision. Officials at Silicon Valley, the US IT hub, have also criticized Trump’s new decision.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of giant search engine Google, said in a Twitter message, “Skilled immigrants continue to make a unique contribution to the U.S. economy. In particular, immigrants have made the country a world leader in technology, and Google has become so big because of them.
He added: “The new announcement by the US administration is disappointing. We will continue to work for immigrants and strive to create job opportunities for all.
Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, head of public policy at Twitter, said: “This policy will hurt the US economy. This unilateral and unnecessary policy will prevent the entry of high-skilled talents from around the world into the United States, which is very detrimental to the economic strength of the United States.