Immigration: Trump extends limits to certain work visas until 2020

Immigration: Trump extends limits to certain work visas until 2020

The new limits are part of a coordinated effort to reduce visas available to people abroad as a result of high unemployment in the United States due to the corona pandemic, a senior administration official told reporters on Monday.
In April, Trump signed an immigration declaration targeting people outside the United States seeking legal immigration to the United States, with some exceptions. This order, which was set to expire, will be extended until the end of 2020 and will be extended to include certain views of guest workers.

“The president is extending this measure in view of the frankness, rising unemployment and the number of Americans who are out of work,” the official said.

The new visas include L-1 visas for intra-company transport, H-1Bs for workers in special occupations, as well as an H-4 visa for spouses, H-2B for temporary non-agricultural workers and most J-1 visas for exchange visitors. .

Like the April order, the latest announcement only applies to people outside the United States. It does not apply to legal permanent residents, spouses or children of a U.S. citizen, persons working in the food supply chain, and “whose entry would be in the national interest.”

The new restrictions take effect on June 24.

The Department of Homeland Security also issued a regulation banning most asylum seekers from obtaining work permits – adding another hurdle for asylum seekers in the United States. The rule was originally proposed last November.
CNN previously reported that one of the key elements behind the push to curb immigration is Stephen Miller, Trump’s top immigration adviser, and the architect of the president’s tough immigration agenda.

Citing the pandemic, the administration proceeded with a series of immigration measures that, before the coronation, had been difficult to overcome. Among those changes are the closure of southern borders to migrants, including those seeking asylum, unless certain conditions are met.

Following the April President’s announcement, Miller took the move as a first step toward reducing the flow of migrants entering the United States.

The administration reiterated its economic argument on Monday, explaining the latest immigration action. While Trump has talked about recent job numbers, unemployment figures remain high – although companies have said in a series of letters to the president that continuing immigration is important for economic recovery.

“Why would he want to stop the critical workforce that will help the economy recover?” Greg Chen, director of government relations for the American Association of Immigration Lawyers, told CNN.

Earlier this month, a technology tech group wrote to Trump, arguing that immigration-free visas were crucial to maintaining the economy amid a global public health crisis.

The U.S.-born workforce, wrote the Information Technology Council, “allows many Americans to continue working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and plays a key role … in keeping businesses safe.” and connected individuals. “

ITI is supported by companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Oracle.

However, critics say the flaws in the H-1B program have led to its exploitation. To that end, a senior administration official said Monday that the Department of Labor had been instructed by Trump to “investigate the abuses” as they were related to the visa.

“H1B, the cessation of considerations, is the temporary action in the President’s action today in the executive branch, the most permanent action that guides us to take action, including reforming the H1B system to move in a more system-based direction. value, “the official said.

The Institute for Political Immigration, a think tank in Washington, DC, estimated that the new restrictions will block 219,000 emergency workers.
Shortly after the announcement, DHS published a regulation This would prevent asylum seekers crossing the border illegally from obtaining a work permit, with some exceptions, and delaying the issuance of permits.

“It will require most asylum seekers to rely on charity or work under the table to survive,” said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a policy adviser to the U.S. Immigration Council, noting that non-income reporting could be used against one individual in a separate asylum rule proposal.

The rule, which will take effect later this summer, applies to affect thousands of asylum seekers in the United States who are dependent on work permits for maintenance, while their cases operate through immigration courts – a process that can to last months, if not years.

This story has been updated with additional details about the administration’s action.

CNN’s Nikki Carvajal contributed to the report.

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