The Trump Administration is considering a months-long suspension of work visas during the coronavirus, officials familiar with the plan told the Wall Street Journal.
The order could restrict H-1B visas for highly skilled workers, H-2B visas for seasonal workers and other kinds of visas, and might extend past Oct. 1., according to the WSJ.
“We’re going to see some more news on that probably sometime soon,” Kenneth Cuccinelli II, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said of the potential visa restrictions at a Heritage Foundation event Wednesday.
Senate Republicans, including Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, have called for restrictions of work visas like H-1B since the pandemic began and unemployment rose sharply.
The president denied he was using coronavirus measures to restrict legal immigration, according to the New York Post. The two month ban drew criticism from Fox News host Tucker Carlson for having “too many exceptions.” Critics have called the legislation “blatant xenophobia.” (Related: Minorities Overwhelmingly Support An Immigration Ban To Fight Coronavirus, Poll Finds)
In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020
“It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigration labor flown in from abroad,” Trump said, reported the NY Post.
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