The country’s big business groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block President Trump’s new coronavirus immigration restrictions, begging the court to keep the pipeline of foreign labor flowing.

The National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several other organizations banded together to file the challenge in federal court in California.

They said that while the law allows Mr. Trump the power to exclude some migrants, that doesn’t cover the large-scale blockade he announced in a proclamation last month covering some 500,000 temporary worker visas that would have been issued this year.

“In this way, the Proclamation takes a sledgehammer to the statutes Congress enacted with respect to high-skilled and temporary worker immigration,” the business groups said. “While the President’s powers under Section 212(f) are broad, they do not authorize the president to nullify duly enacted statutory provisions.”

They also said the law requires any moves to be connected to stopping the virus, while Mr. Trump has bolstered his immigration decisions on easing the nation's current economic and jobs crisis.

In April the President blocked the issuance of tens of thousands of green cards each month, then in June expanded that policy to include temporary workers under the H-1B, H-2B, H-4 and L visas categories through the end of the year. The business groups said that amounts to 500,000 people.

Mr. Trump says he wants businesses to turn to Americans first when searching for workers as the economy recovers. He said blocking new foreign workers will force the issue.

The business groups, though, counter that foreign workers actually help some parts of the economy. They argued that tech workers, who often use H-1B visas, are critical to the recovery, yet the unemployment rate among them is very low despite the pandemic.

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Updated: Wed, Aug 5th 2020 @ 2:35pm EDT