Trump’s new immigration ban: H-1B visas spared, but Green Cards halted

Credit: White House.

H-1B visa holders dodge a bullet for now.

President Trump, who tweeted on Monday night that he will sign a new executive order temporarily banning immigration to protect U.S. jobs, announced the broad contours of the new policy.

“To protect American workers I will be issuing a temporary suspension of immigrating into the United States,” he said at a White House briefing on Tuesday afternoon. “This order will only apply to individuals seeking a permanent residency.”

The president said it “would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor” from abroad. “We must first take care of the American worker — take care of the American worker,” he said. “This pause will be in effect for 60 days, after which the need for any extension or modification will be evaluated by myself and a group of people, based on economic conditions at the time.”

Trump said the order “will not apply to those entering on a temporary basis.” He added, “As we move forward, we’ll examine what additional immigration-related measures should be put in place to protect U.S. workers. We want to protect our U.S. workers and I think as we move forward, we will become more and more protective of them.”

ALSO READ: H-1B ARCHIVE

The New York Times said Trump “backed away from plans to suspend guest worker programs after business groups exploded in anger at the threat of losing access to foreign labor.”

The paper said that the decision not to block guest worker programs such as H-1B and H2 “is a concession to business groups.”

The Times added that, as late as Monday night, after Trump’s tweet, top White House officials had said the new order would apply to “some of the guest worker programs while exempting others.”

It is not surprising that Trump has pushed an anti-immigrant policy while the nation is in the middle of a major national emergency.

Immigration has been the president’s go-to issue. Anytime he has felt the need to seize the momentum or shore up his base, he has gone to immigration.

The past month has been brutal for the Republican, with critics blaming his slow response for the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 825,000 people in the country and claimed more than 45,000 American lives.

H-1B visa holders seem to have dodged a bullet for now. Ever since Trump tweeted on Monday night signaling his intention to impose a temporary immigration ban, many visa holders have been in panicking.

Already, thousands of H-1B employees have lost their jobs since mid-March, when the U.S. economy began its downward spiral. Those visa holders who lost their jobs have to find another job within 60 days to remain in the country—a tough task with the economy having already shredded 22 million jobs.

Critics of the H-1B program have expressed their disappointment with the new policy.

“So if the point of this executive order was to… protect American jobs, it failed,” Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson said on Tuesday night.

U.S. Tech Workers, an advocacy group campaigning against the H-1B program tweeted on Tuesday night:

“The do-nothing immigration moratorium:

– Temporary visa workers (H-1B, OPT, J-1, L-1, H-2B, etc.) won’t be suspended.

– New green card issuances put on hold.”

The group added:

“In other words:

“Feel free to come into America & take these American jobs so long as you will work for cheaper & remain loyal to the employer. Don’t worry about the 60 days temporary green card suspension. That’ll be lifted in no time & wont affect you.”

One Comment

  1. Ben Prusinski

    All indian H1B, L1, F1, EAD, OPT and temp visas ought to be banned. These people are nothing but scammers with their fake degrees and bogus credentials. Constantly leeching off the land, stealing middle-class American jobs and screwing American families livelihoods. Indians don’t belong here, they are a different race and ethnicity and always discriminate against Hispanics, Blacks and Whites. Ask anyone that ever worked with some of these scum from south india, horrible, just plain horrible co-workers. Nepotism, back-stabbing, cheating it never ends.

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