President Trump once again playing anti-immigrant card

President Trump issued executive order to suspend the  H-1B visas

American president Trump has issued an executive order to suspend the issuance of H-1B category work visas for highly skilled foreign workers especially IT professionals. President Trump said the step was essential to help millions of Americans who have lost their jobs due to the current economic crisis.
The proclamation suspends and limits entry into the US of H-1B, H-2B and L visas and their dependents till December 31, 2020. It also includes certain categories of J visas like an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, or summer work travel programme.
This executive order is going to hurt the Indian IT professional who were looking to work in America. The H-1B category of visas is particularly popular with Indian IT professionals. They now have to wait till November presidential elections results to hope to get H-1B visas.
 President Trump also extends his previous executive order that banned issuing of new green cards of lawful permanent residency till end of the year. Green card holders, once admitted pursuant to immigrant visas, are granted “open-market” employment authorisation documents, allowing them immediate eligibility to compete for almost any job, in any sector of the economy, the executive order pointed out.
It seems that president Trump wants to use the anti-immigration card in the presidential election campaign to get the support of right wing anti-immigration groups. President Trump is trailing against democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at the moment. He is desperate to mobilise his right wing anti-immigrant support base. This executive order is a clear indication that he wants to appease the anti-immigrant voters.
He wants to show to the anti-immigration  voters that he is tough on immigration and will do whatever necessary to stop them entering the USA. He is also using record high unemployment as the main reason to issue this executive order. 
This executive order comes after few days of Supreme Court’s decision to protect the DACA programme.  The Supreme Court allows the DACA programme to continue. President Trump wanted to end the protection given under this law.  
The Obama administration in June 2012 issued the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order after the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act did not pass in Congress several times. The young people affected by DACA and the DREAM Act are often referred to as "Dreamers."

The executive order allowed some illegal and undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to be exempted from deportation and to obtain renewable two-year work permits.

The proclamation that comes into effect on June 24 is expected to impact a large number of Indian IT professionals and several American and Indian companies who were issued H-1B visas by the US government for the fiscal year 2021 beginning October 1.

They would now have to wait at least till the end of the current year before approaching the US diplomatic missions to get stamping. It would also impact a large number of Indian IT professionals who are seeking renewal of their H-1B visas.
In his proclamation, Trump said that the overall unemployment rate in the United States nearly quadrupled between February and May of 2020 -- producing some of the most extreme unemployment rates ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
American workers compete against foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of our economy, including against millions of aliens who enter the United States to perform temporary work. Temporary workers are often accompanied by their spouses and children, many of whom also compete against American workers, Trump said.  
Under ordinary circumstances, properly administered temporary worker programmes can provide benefits to the economy. But under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak, certain non-immigrant visa programmes authorising such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers, he said.
For example, Trump said, between February and April of 2020, more than 17 million United States jobs were lost in industries in which employers are seeking to fill worker positions tied to H-2B nonimmigrant visas. During this same period, more than 20 million United States workers lost their jobs in key industries where employers are currently requesting H-1B and L workers to fill positions, he said.
Also, the May unemployment rate for young Americans, who compete with certain J non-immigrant visa applicants, has been particularly high -- 29.9 per cent for 16-19 year olds, and 23.2 per cent for the 20-24 year old group, executive order pointed out.
The entry of additional workers through the H-1B, H-2B, J, and L non-immigrant visa programmes, therefore, presents a significant threat to employment opportunities for Americans affected by the extraordinary economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, Trump said in the executive order.
Trump observed that excess labour supply is particularly harmful to workers at the margin between employment and unemployment -- those who are typically “last in” during an economic expansion and “first out” during an economic contraction.
In recent years, these workers have been disproportionately represented by historically disadvantaged groups, including African Americans and other minorities, those without a college degree, and Americans with disabilities, the executive order said.
                                                                        Khalid Bhatti

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