President Trump on Thursday prolonged a pandemic-era suspension of sure immigrant and work visas, making certain that his sweeping limits on authorized immigration will stay in place when Joe Biden is sworn in.
Through a proclamation issued 20 days earlier than Inauguration Day, Mr. Trump ordered a three-month extension of the visa restrictions, which had been first enacted in April as a ban on some potential immigrants and expanded in June to additionally halt a number of short-term work packages.
Mr. Trump has mentioned the limits — which invoke a broad presidential energy to bar the entry of foreigners deemed to be “detrimental to the pursuits” of the U.S. — are needed to forestall new immigrants and short-term staff from competing with Americans for jobs throughout the financial recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The results of COVID-19 on the United States labor market and on the well being of American communities is a matter of ongoing nationwide concern,” Mr. Trump wrote in Thursday’s proclamation, which cited the unemployment fee, pandemic-related restrictions on companies issued by states and the rise in coronavirus infections since June.
While he has pledged to overturn a few of the centerpieces of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda, Mr. Biden has but to say whether or not he intends to rescind the visa restrictions. A consultant for Mr. Biden’s transition group didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Mr. Trump’s proclamation prohibits the issuance of sure immigrant visas to individuals overseas who search to maneuver to the U.S. completely via inexperienced card petitions filed by their U.S. members of the family or potential employers.
Spouses and youngsters 21 or youthful of U.S. residents will not be topic to the restrictions, which additionally exempt some healthcare staff who intend to fight the coronavirus and immigrant buyers who agree to take a position greater than $1 million within the U.S.
Mr. Trump’s order additionally continues the suspension of the variety visa lottery, a program he has ceaselessly criticized that enables individuals from underrepresented nations, lots of them in Africa, to maneuver to the U.S. In September, a federal decide in Washington, D.C. ordered the federal government to situation visas to greater than 9,000 would-be immigrants who gained the lottery in 2020, however they continue to be barred from getting into the U.S. underneath the proclamation.
The restrictions additionally halt a number of short-term visas utilized by individuals overseas to work within the U.S., together with the H-1B program that’s in style within the tech sector and H-2B visas for non-agricultural seasonal staff. Cultural change J-1 visas for au pairs and different short-term staff; visas for spouses of H-1B and H-2B holders; and L visas for corporations to relocate staff to the U.S. will proceed to be suspended as effectively.
In early October, San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White barred the Trump administration from making use of the short-term work visa restrictions to international staff employed by a number of main U.S. corporations.
Advocates for immigrants known as on the incoming Biden administration to revoke Mr. Trump’s visa limits instantly in January.
“Too many households have been separated and too many goals have been crushed by this illegal ban,” mentioned Karen Tumlin, the founding father of the Justice Action Center and a lawyer difficult the visa restrictions. “We will proceed to problem this ban in court docket and urge the Biden-Harris administration to repeal all of President Trump’s xenophobic presidential proclamations, together with this ban, on day one in all their administration.”