US Chamber says restrictions will push investment abroad, inhibit economic growth, reduce job creation.
A coalition of US trade bodies has challenged President Donald Trump’s June 22 proclamation suspending H-1B and other nonimmigrant work visas till the end of the year.
The joint lawsuit filed among others by the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation and TechNet seeks an injunction to stop implementation of the restriction.
US Chamber CEO Tom Donohue Thursday decried Trump’s restrictions on work visas, his attempted ban on foreign students, and his plans to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
“Taken together, these are the most restrictionist immigration policies in nearly a century,” he wrote in an op-ed published by The New York Times.
“This is a fundamental mistake at a time when our nation’s economy is already suffering,” Donohue wrote explaining why the US Chamber is taking aggressive action to “preserve legal immigration and halt the new job-killing restrictions.”
“Over the past few weeks, the Trump administration has decided to close the door to engineers, executives, information technology experts, doctors, nurses and others who come to the United States on work visas.” he noted.
“It has attempted to ban international students from attending American colleges and universities that hold classes virtually in the fall,” Donohue wrote.
“And it has shown an unwavering commitment to canceling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.”
The lawsuit, Donohue, said in a statement earlier, challenges “federal restrictions on businesses’ ability to meet their workforce needs through lawful immigration.”
“These sweeping and unlawful immigration restrictions that are an unequivocal ‘not welcome’ sign to the engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses, and other critical workers who help drive the American economy,” he wrote.
“Left in place, these restrictions will push investment abroad, inhibit economic growth, and reduce job creation,” Donohue wrote.
Trump’s June 22 proclamation banned the entry into the US of workers in several key nonimmigrant visa categories, purportedly in response to the covid-19 pandemic, the lawsuit noted.
“Expressly intended to bar hundreds of thousands of workers from entering the country,” the ban it contended, “is inflicting severe economic harm on a wide range of American businesses across all economic sectors.”
“The US economy has long been the envy of the world, and American innovation is the engine of this success,” it said noting, “American innovation rests on having the best and brightest working here.”
“Over the past century, the United States has benefited immensely from courageous individuals who have left their homes, accepting an invitation to travel to America for temporary work,” the lawsuit said.
“These individuals’ talents, experience, and special skills have propelled their employers’ growth—and enriched their broader communities,” it said. “Some of these individuals later make America their permanent home, often advancing to leadership positions in their companies.”
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“Some become entrepreneurs themselves, creating substantial new businesses,” it said noting, “101 of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants.”
“Attracting these high-skilled individuals to America is net-positive for the employment of American citizens,” the lawsuit contended.
“As study after study has shown, immigration expands our Nation’s economic pie, benefiting domestic workers,” it said, “That is why the United States has long embraced skilled immigration programs: They advantage all participants in the economy.”
“By banning entry of more than 500,000 individuals this year alone,” the lawsuit said, “the Proclamation takes a sledgehammer to the statutes Congress enacted with respect to high-skilled and temporary worker immigration.”
“Not only does denying access to nonimmigrant workers deprive American businesses of the talent they need, but it has far-reaching repercussions in today’s competitive market for talent.”
Countries across the globe vying to challenge America’s economic might are seeking to attract the world’s best talent to their homegrown businesses, it noted.
“Shutting the door to leading talent has direct economic consequences: Not only does it stifle American businesses, but it works to the advantage of foreign nations.”