Finally! After nearly three decades of pleading to deaf Republican and Democratic congresses for a fair shake, American workers can celebrate.
Breaking with his White House predecessors, all of whom displayed an addicted-like commitment to more employment-based visas, President Trump gave American workers a reason - at long last - to cheer. Whether low- or high-skilled, Trump’s announcement that he would cut 525,000 visas from among those who would have entered and taken a U.S. job during this year’s final six months means that 45 million unemployed Americans’ futures are suddenly brighter.
Trump expanded his April 22 Executive Order that only inconsequentially lowered legal immigration totals, and left employment visas untouched. For the remainder of 2020, the following visas, all of which include work permission, will be restricted: H-1B, mostly for tech; H-2B for seasonal nonagricultural workers that ludicrously include lifeguards, leisure industry employees and amusement park workers - as if young American wouldn’t do those jobs.
Also included are J visas that allow au pairs to work on the cheap in tony D.C. suburbs; H-4, an Obama-era program, never congressionally approved, that gives work permission to H-1B spouses, and L visas that allow, for example, a Hong Kong-based IBM accountant to transfer to the Armonk corporate headquarters - as if the New York/Connecticut region has no available bookkeepers. By the way, accompanying L visa holders will be their spouses and unmarried children age 21 or younger. Bringing family members keeps the U.S. population exploding and assures that K-12 schools remain overcrowded, both of which reduce Americans’ quality of life. But President Trump put extended family chain migration on hold. Only Green Card holders’ nuclear family will get Green Cards, making them eligible for lifetime-valid work permits.
The president moved to correct another preposterous immigration flaw. The Trump administration announced a new regulation that will prevent most of those who come to the U.S. illegally from getting work permits while they apply for asylum or make other pleas for special dispensation. Currently, aliens can obtain work permits while their cases are pending, a period that often stretches out for years. This misguided policy represents an obvious incentive to enter illegally, and then be rewarded with work permission.
When they learned of the president’s order, expansionists that include the Chamber of Commerce, the tech lobby and some in Congress went apoplectic, and sounded foolish. FWD.us, the immigration advocacy group that Mark Zuckerberg cofounded, pulled out the predictable hysterical claims that President Trump’s newest order was “a full-frontal attack on American innovation and our nation’s ability to benefit from attracting talent from around the world” and that it will “hurt our economy,” another tired old saw.
Not surprisingly, but nevertheless disappointing, Senate House Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham is in complete accord with Zuckerberg’s group. In a series of tweets, Graham criticized President Trump, and predicted that his order would have “a chilling effect on our recovering economy.” Graham’s career voting record on increasing employment-based visas is the same as those of notoriously anti-American worker sellouts Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and dozens of other congressional globalists.
No intelligent argument can be made that the U.S. needs employment-based visas or - for that matter - more people. Americans agree with President Trump’s immigration pause. A Zogby Analytics poll taken in swing states Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin showed that a strong majority, about 60 percent of registered voters, favor immigration reductions. In all ten states, majorities of voters concurred that “limiting admission of new immigrants and guest workers will improve the chances of laid-off American workers being rehired.” With record high unemployment, for Congress to force unemployed Americans to compete with imported labor is an outrage.
While Trump’s order doesn’t go far enough, or last as long as it should, he’s taken an important step in the right direction to protect beleaguered, job-seeking U.S. workers.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him firstname.lastname@example.org.