US President Donald Trump issued a proclamation Monday temporarily suspending new work visas, preventing hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from seeking employment in the US. This proclamation, which will be in effect at least through the end of 2020, will block the entry of foreigners who possess the H-1B visa.
The president suggested that this proclamation was a necessary means to combat the economic effect America has felt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. By suspending new work visas, the president believes unemployed Americans will not be competing with foreigners for jobs, allowing unemployment to return to pre-coronavirus levels. Prior to this proclamation, Trump signed Proclamation 10014, which sought to suspend new work visas for 60 days. However the president stated that 60 days “is an insufficient time period for the United States labor market.”
The proclamation further states:
In the administration of our Nation’s immigration system, we must remain mindful of the impact of foreign workers on the United States labor market, particularly in the current extraordinary environment of high domestic unemployment and depressed demand for labor. Historically, when recovering from economic shocks that cause significant contractions in productivity, recoveries in employment lag behind improvements in economic activity. This predictive outcome demonstrates that, assuming the conclusion of the economic contractions the United States economy will likely require several months to return to pre-contraction economic output and additional months to restore stable labor demand. In light of the above, I have determined that entry, through December 31, 2020, of certain aliens as immigrants and nonimmigrants would be detrimental to the interest of the United States.
This order will potentially allow Trump to prevent entry of foreigners for as long as he sees fit.