June 24, 2020
Under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs … pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.
- The order expands upon and extends a 60-day executive order issued in April mandating a 60-day pause on green cards for certain immigrants outside the U.S., by suspending job-related nonimmigrant temporary visas, including those issued for highly skilled workers, seasonal workers, and their spouses.
- Pres. Trump said the order is necessary to preserve jobs for Americans amid the COVID-19 outbreak because the threat of high unemployment if labor supply outpaces labor demand remains, stating:
“American workers compete against foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of our economy, including against millions of aliens who enter the United States to perform temporary work. Temporary workers are often accompanied by their spouses and children, many of whom also compete against American workers.”
- Many leaders in the tech industry, which often relies heavily on some of the visas being suspended, responded negatively to the news. Microsoft’s President tweeted:
“Now is not the time to cut our nation off from the world’s talent or create uncertainty and anxiety. Immigrants play a vital role at our company and support our country’s critical infrastructure. They are contributing to this country at a time when we need them most.”
by Jenna Lee,