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US Congressman Krishnamoorthi urges Trump to reverse order suspending H-1B, other work visas

ANI | Updated: Jun 23, 2020 06:44 IST

Illinois [USA], June 23 (ANI): US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi on Monday (local time) expressed disappointment over the new restrictions on work visas, including H1-B visas used widely in the tech industry, and urged President Donald Trump to roll back the order to ensure a broader economy and more jobs that could combat the next phase of the pandemic and make way for economic recovery.
"I'm deeply disappointed by President Trump's misguided order to suspend these key work visa programs. I urge him to reverse this decision to help ensure our health care system and broader economy are ready to combat the next phase of this pandemic and to create the jobs we need for our economic recovery," Krishnamoorthi said in a statement following the announcement of new restrictions on work visas by the administration.
"The H-1B program, in particular, plays a crucial role in addressing our dangerous shortage of health care professionals while also providing other key sectors of our economy with talent from around the world to not only fill jobs but create new ones. Suspending this program will only weaken our economy and our health care workforce at a time when they need to strengthen both is as clear as ever," the Congressman added.
The White House, earlier in the day, announced that the restrictions were put in place to ensure American workers take first priority as the nation starts recovering from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
"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 in a release.
"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.
Meanwhile, Congresswoman Donna Shalala from Florida and Chellie Pingree from Minnesota also showed displeasure on the development, saying the executive order is yet another example of President Trump using the coronavirus pandemic to advance a hateful and extreme anti-immigrant agenda.
"President Trump is now attacking American business - and jeopardizing our economic recovery - in service of xenophobia. America will be poorer and less competitive because of it," Shalala said on twitter retweeting New York Times article on the same.
"A ban on student visas is not only contrary to America's core values of supporting an open exchange of ideas and cultures, it also undermines educational opportunities for students and Maine schools which benefit from these international exchanges," Pingree tweeted.
Trump will sign an executive order suspending foreign work visas, barring hundreds of thousands of people from coming to work in the US. The move includes the H-1B program for high-skilled workers and several other categories.
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 development marks the latest efforts to bar the entry of immigrants to the country. (ANI)

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