US President Donald Trump (File pic)
US President Donald Trump (File pic)

Trump to extend pause on immigration visas in interest of American workers, says White House

ANI | Updated: Jun 23, 2020 05:47 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], June 23 (ANI): US President Donald Trump will prolong a ban on US employment permits to year-end and broaden it to include H1-B visas used widely in the tech industry to ensure American workers take first priority as the nation starts recovering from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the White House said on Monday.
"President Trump is extending the pause on new immigrant visas through the end of the year to ensure we continue putting American workers first during our ongoing coronavirus recovery," the White House said.
"President Trump is building on this measure with an additional pause on several job-related non-immigrant visas--H-1Bs, H-2Bs without a nexus to the food-supply chain, certain H-4s, as well as Ls and certain Js--preserving jobs for American citizens," it added.
The statement also noted that many workers have been hurt through no fault of their own due to coronavirus and they should not remain on the sidelines while being replaced by new foreign labour.
The new policy is "extending and expanding" on Trump's April pause on issuing new green cards, which will continue beyond the initial 60-day period until the end of the year, according to a senior administration official.
The move would free up 525,000 jobs, making a dent in the high unemployment rate caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the official added.
Under these reforms, the H-1B program will prioritise those workers who are offered the highest wage, ensuring that the highest-skilled applicants are admitted, the White House said.
The Trump administration will also close loopholes that have allowed employers in the United States to replace American workers with low-cost foreign labour, the statement said further.
The development marks the latest efforts to bar the entry of immigrants to the country.
A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, cited by the White House, found that 65 per cent of those polled support pausing immigration into the country, including 61 per cent of minority respondents.
Trump is also expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday directing new restrictions on most H-1B, H-4, H-2B, J and L visas, with some exceptions, lasting through December 31 - "frankly, because of the expanding unemployment," the official told reporters. (ANI)

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