Tags: Coronavirus | Immigration | immigration | coronavirus | covid | H | 1Bvisas

GOP Senators Ask Trump to Expand Immigration Suspension to Guest Worker Visas

sen. ted cruz rocks the mask in an elevator at the capitol
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,  sporting a mask, takes an elevator as he leaves after a vote at the U.S. Capitol May 7, 2020 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2020 07:29 PM

Top GOP lawmakers encouraged President Donald Trump to expand his suspension on immigration to also cover temporary guest workers, to keep foreigners from taking jobs from Americans at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has sent the unemployment rate to a record high.

Sens. Ted Cruz, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa,  Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas all signed a letter insisting the president suspect H-1B visas, which are popular with many tech companies, and H-2B visas, which bring in many landscapers and resort business workers.

They also prodded the president to temporarily halt the Optional Practical Training program, which enables foreign students to work up to three years in the United States.

The senators argue thousands of foreigners use those programs annually, and nearly all of them are grabbing jobs Americans could occupy.

“For many high school graduates and college students, they will spend the next few weeks at home making tough decisions about delaying or foregoing college this fall due to their limited family resources. There is no reason why these young people, especially, should not have access to seasonal, nonagricultural work such as summer resort employment or landscaping before those positions are given to imported foreign labor under the H-2B program,” the senators wrote.

The GOP lawmakers also asked Trump to suspend the EB-5 “golden visa,” a pathway for wealthy foreigners willing to pay $900,000 to enter the United States.

In April, Trump suspended immigration to the United States for 60 days, saying "Excess labor supply affects all workers and potential workers, but it is particularly harmful to workers at the margin between employment and unemployment."

But that measure didn't stop guest workers seeking non-immigrant visas from entering the country. And those are the workers who would be competing with U.S. citizens for jobs.

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Top GOP lawmakers encouraged President Donald Trump to expand his suspension on immigration to also cover temporary guest workers, to keep foreigners from taking jobs from Americans at a time when the coronavirus pandemic...
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2020-29-07
Thursday, 07 May 2020 07:29 PM
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