Trump Temporarily Halts New H1-B and Other Job Visas

President Trump has recently suspended H-1B and other types of visas, a move that many businesses are opposing because of the prevention of recruiting foreign talent from abroad.

The Executive Order Blocking Work Visas

In late June, Trump signed an executive order barring as many as hundreds of thousands of workers from other countries from entering the U.S. workforce. The effort comes as part of the Trump administration’s attempt to limit immigrant entry into the U.S.

The order will be in effect at least until the end of 2020, and it blocks visas for many types of jobs, including jobs in computer programming and other positions open to skilled foreign workers, many of whom enter the U.S. on H-1B visas. The order also affects other individuals including students visiting the U.S. while engaged in work-study programs during the summer, seasonal workers employed in the hospitality industry, and other au pairs who work in the U.S.

In addition to preventing immigrants from entering and working in the U.S., the order also prevents American companies with international operations and international enterprises with U.S. locations from transferring employees to the U.S. for periods of months to years. Under the new order, the spouses of foreign workers employed in the U.S. are also blocked.

Opposing the Order

President Trump described the suspension of H-1B and other visas in the order as a means to help put American workers first when filling positions for scarce jobs, which immigration advocates claim doesn’t account for an evolving, dynamic workforce.

Business leaders have also been quick to oppose the order, saying it will prevent them from recruiting vital workers from abroad for positions that many American workers are either unwilling to perform or incapable of performing. 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief executive Thomas J. Donohue told the New York Times, “Putting up a ‘not welcome’ sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other workers won’t help our country, it will only hold us back.”

Attempts to block the order failed to prevent it from going into effect.

The order comes as the Trump administration has worked to slow immigration into the U.S. in the long-term. In April, Trump signed a previous order that suspended the issuance of green cards for 60 days to a majority of foreigners who wished to live in the U.S. The new order extended that restriction while also blocking individuals with work visas.