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Trump Expands Immigration Ban to Include Foreign Specialized Workers

THE NEW ORDER EXTENDS the original 60-day pause President Trump signed on April 22, and goes further by pausing new H-1B tech worker visas, H-2B seasonal worker visas, certain J work and education exchange visitor visas and L executive transfer visas. It will be in effect until the end of the year, but will not affect those who already have a visa.

Exemptions from the ban include some health care workers directly related to COVID-19, and agricultual guest-workers under H-2A. Other exemptions include those in the original green card order, including for members of the U.S. military.

The ban is expected to free-up 500,000 to 600,000 jobs for Americans by the end of the year. Some Republican lawmakers had been strongly calling on Trump to enact these further measures. But on Wednesday, Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden called the new order a “distraction” from the president's failure to lead on the coronavirus and said “Immigrants help grow our economy and create jobs.”

Trump recently visited the U.S. southern border in Arizona to mark the completion of the 200th mile of new wall built. An equal amount of new wall is expected to be added by the end of 2020 since the President finally managed to overcome the obstacles put in his way by the liberal courts and the Democrats.

Other features of the order make it more difficult for companies to replace U.S. Labor with newly arrived workers, set higher wages for H-1B holders, and probe for potential abuses in the program.

On Monday, the administration also presented the final version of a regulation that will render most border-crossers seeking asylum ineligible for work authorization. Under this rule, work permits will not be available to asylum-seekers who crossed the border illegally or to those convicted of certain crimes, like driving under the influence. The Trump administration has long argued that most migrants who trek to the southern border file meritless asylum claims to gain easy entry into the U.S. in search of job opportunities. This regulation is expected to take effect in late August.

Originally appeared at: Carolyn Yeager