President Trump is getting new pressure from a quartet of conservative senators to pause the issuance of a set of visas because of coronavirus-related job losses.
Senator Tom Cotton (Ark.) is leading a letter signed by Sens. Josh Howley (Mo.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) to press President Trump to suspend “all new guest worker visas” for 60 days, and others for a year “or until unemployment has returned to normal levels.”
“Given the extreme lack of available jobs for American job-seekers as portions of our economy begin to reopen, it defies common sense to admit additional foreign guest workers to compete for such limited employment,” they write in a letter to Trump.
Specifically, the Senators are asking Trump to suspend all new guest-worker visas for 60 days; suspend all non-immigrant guest-worker visas for 60 days, and continue to suspend new non-immigrant guest-worker visas for a year or until unemployment bounces back to “normal levels.” Among the visas they want to be suspended are H-2Bs, which allow non-agricultural seasonal workers into the U.S.; H-1Bs, which are for highly skilled applicants; and the Optional Practical Training program, which extends foreign student visas after graduation.
They are also requesting the President suspend EB-5 visas -- a program by which an immigrant can become a green-card holder by investing in business in the U.S.
Roy Beck, President of NumbersUSA stated on the issue,
The current unemployment crisis demands precisely what the four Senators have proposed to the President. Their logic of pausing nearly all foreign guest worker visas has to make sense to everybody except those who really do want to keep hundreds of thousands of higher-skilled and less-skilled jobs out of reach of this spring's American graduates, as well as the 33 million Americans who have lost their jobs. We praise the Senators for their letter's eloquence and compassion in laying out a clear path for the President to expand his protections for American workers.
See the letter here.
Updated: Thu, May 21st 2020 @ 11:00am EDT