Washington D.C. [USA], June 21 (ANI): The Trump administration is looking forward to suspend temporary work visas (including H-1B for certain-skilled workers and L-1 for internal company transfers in large corporations), particularly popular with Indian companies with US operations as well as Indians seeking to work in America, through the end of this year, multiple sources familiar with the plan informed NPR news.
The new order -- which is expected to come with broad exceptions -- comes as the administration continues to wrestle with high unemployment among American workers because of the coronavirus pandemic as well as kick-start the economic recovery, the media reported.
The executive action is also expected to suspend H-2B visas for seasonal workers such as hotel and construction staff, J-1 visas, which are meant for research scholars and professors, and other cultural and work-exchange programs.
"No matter how you slice it, this is shaping up to be a big win for American workers at a critical time," said RJ Hauman, government relations director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which advocates for lower levels of immigration.
As per media reports, the federation had also called on Trump to suspend guest worker visas.
"We have some concern over potential abuse of broadly written exceptions, but there is still time for that to be addressed, both now and during implementation," Hauman said.
If signed, the move would be the latest restriction on immigration imposed by the Trump administration since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.
In May, Trump issued a temporary halt on new green cards, but stopped short of suspending guest worker programs amid concerns from the business community.
But plans for the order have already raised significant concerns among business and industry groups, as well as universities who depend on foreign workers and scholars.
The order would however make broad exceptions for travel in the national interest, including in the areas of economics, public health and national security.
In 2018, the Trump administration first tightened rules for companies that contract out high-skilled workers who are in this country on H-1B visas. The visas themselves have become controversial. American companies use them to hire highly skilled foreign workers in situations in which they say there is a shortage of US-born talent.
The visas are good for three years and renewable for another three-year term. Critics of the visas -- 85,000 of which are issued every year -- say American workers are aced out of competition with workers who can be paid less. (ANI)