President Donald Trump will sign an executive order suspending foreign worker visas until December 31, 2020, Department of Homeland Security guidance obtained by the Daily Caller shows.
The new executive order is expected to go into effect at 11:59 PM ET on Monday, June 22. The order will suspend H-1B visas, H-2B visas, certain J visas, and L visas. The order will carve out exceptions for lawful permanent residents, foreign workers who are essential to the U.S. food supply, and any spouse or child of a U.S. citizen. Additionally, the order will also grant Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf the authority to admit any alien whose entry they deem would be in the national interest. (RELATED: Americans Overwhelmingly Support A Temporary Immigration Ban To Fight Coronavirus, Poll Finds)
According to DHS’ guidance, the order takes steps to transition to a “merit-based immigration system” by prohibiting American companies from replacing laid off workers with immigrants and blocking illegal immigrants from obtaining work permits.
“The President is taking decisive action to put American families and workers first in the reopening of the economy and DHS is proudly partnering with him to implement this important executive action,” Wolf wrote in a draft statement attached to the guidance. “This proclamation ensures Americans aren’t facing unfair competition as our economy begins to safely reopen. American citizens must be first in line for American jobs.”
The president issued a proclamation in April temporarily halting immigration into the U.S. amid the coronavirus. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Trump Says Some Governors Made ‘Tragic Mistakes’ With Nursing Home Coronavirus Policies)
Tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment since the beginning of the pandemic, and the unemployment rate remains at 13.3% after a surprising May jobs report, which saw an increase of 2.5 million jobs.