Latinx leaders react to Trump’s new restriction on immigrant work visas
Citing the coronavirus pandemic, Trump will extend immigration restrictions through December, announcing a freeze on foreign work visas.
On Monday, June 22, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, temporarily halting foreign work visas, specifically targeting H-1B and H-4 recipients.
The order, which states it will last until the end of the year, suspends visas for those in specialized fields like technology and most non-agriculture seasonal workers.
Others affected include cultural exchange J-1 visas for au pairs, visas for spouses of H-1B and H-2B holders, and L visas for companies to relocate employees to the U.S. healthcare workers involved in treating coronavirus patients will also be exempt.
Professors and scholars are excluded from the J-1 and H-2B visa restrictions, as well as those pursuing work in the food industry. The order also does not affect visa holders and applicants already in the U.S. or those abroad who have been issued a visa.
After Trump recently announced he will try to repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals again, after the Supreme Court rejected his first attempt, Latinx politicians are not staying silent on what they deem is another attack on immigrants.
They say Stephen Miller’s stance on immigration policy is that immigrants harm employment prospects for Americans.
“Once again Trump and Stephen Miller are using the cover of a pandemic to implement their anti-immigrant agenda,” tweeted Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona.
Once again Trump and Stephen Miller are using the cover of a pandemic to implement their anti-immigrant agenda. This is nothing more than a distraction for his failure to handle the #COVID19 crisis. https://t.co/nrcGXLTpKG
— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) June 23, 2020
“Donald Trump is choosing to blame the immigrant community for his woefully inadequate response to COVID19,” tweeted Rep. Norma Torres of California.
.@realDonaldTrump is choosing to blame the immigrant community for his woefully inadequate response to #COVID19 & its economic impact.
This isn't about protecting American jobs—it's about scapegoating immigrants & throwing more red meat to his hardliner base. https://t.co/qIBI9u3nDI
— Rep. Norma Torres (@NormaJTorres) June 23, 2020
While the majority of H-1B visa recipients are not Latinx or Hispanic, Latinx leaders are constantly reminded of the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants. All forms of immigration reform, in a sense, is a Latinx issue.
Seventy-two percent of US H-1B visa recipients come from India, followed by China and other countries.
“Restrictive changes to our nation’s immigration system will push investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth, and reduce job creation,” said Thomas Donhue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a statement.
Donhue continued, “Putting up a ‘not welcome’ sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses, and other workers won’t help our country, it will hold us back.”