US suspends H-1B, H-2B, J and L Visa Programmes

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Entry, through December 31, 2020, of certain foreigners as immigrants and non-immigrants would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. Donald Trump, President of United States of America

Washington DC: Ahead of the presidential election, the US President Donald Trump played the trump card on Monday 22 June by signing the proclamation suspending entry of foreigners who present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the Coronavirus outbreak

Trump has underscored that American workers compete against foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of the US economy, including against millions of foreigners who enter the United States to perform temporary work.

The entry of additional workers through the H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrant visa programs, therefore, presents a significant threat to employment opportunities for Americans affected by the extraordinary economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the US President has emphasised.

In light of the above, Trump has determined that the entry, through December 31, 2020, of certain foreigners as immigrants and nonimmigrants would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.

By the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a)) and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, The US President has concluded that the entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of Proclamation 10014, except as provided in section 2 of Proclamation 10014, and persons described in section 2 of the latest proclamation, except as provided for in section 3 of this proclamation, would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions. On this basis, the US President proclaimed the following:

Suspension and Limitation on Entry. The entry into the United States of any alien seeking entry pursuant to any of the following nonimmigrant visas is hereby suspended and limited –

(a) H-1B or H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;

(b) J visa, to the extent the alien is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien; and

(c) L visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien.

Trump has stated that in the administration of US’s immigration system, they must remain mindful of the impact of foreign workers on the United States labor market, particularly in the current extraordinary environment of high domestic unemployment and depressed demand for labor.

Temporary workers are often accompanied by their spouses and children, many of whom also compete against American workers, it has been pointed out. It has further been underscored that under ordinary circumstances, properly administered temporary worker programs can provide benefits to the economy. But under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.

Between February and April of 2020, more than 17 million United States jobs were lost in industries in which employers are seeking to fill worker positions tied to H-2B nonimmigrant visas. During this same period, more than 20 million United States workers lost their jobs in key industries where employers are currently requesting H-1B and L workers to fill positions. Also, the May unemployment rate for young Americans, who compete with certain J nonimmigrant visa applicants, has been particularly high — 29.9 percent for 16 19 year olds, and 23.2 percent for the 20-24 year old group.

Citing Proclamation 10014, Trump has underscored excess labor supply was particularly harmful to workers at the margin between employment and unemployment — those who were typically “last in” during an economic expansion and “first out” during an economic contraction. In recent years, these workers were disproportionately represented by historically disadvantaged groups, including African Americans and other minorities, those without a college degree, and Americans with disabilities. This is where lies the Trump Punch. In one stroke the US President has tried to assuage the feelings and aspirations of those marginalised and feel the heat of racial discrimination in America. The general ire has got amply demonstrated by the George Floyd anti-racist protests across the US.

Click here for Proclamation Text

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