Advertisement Close

Donald Trump has Banned the Granting of Work Visas

posted on: Jul 14, 2020

By: Yasmina Hage/Arab America Contributing Writer

Donald Trump has banned the granting of work visas in an effort to fight unemployment caused by the coronavirus health crisis. Specifically, he temporarily banned the issuance of certain work visas such as H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1. This ban is the latest in a series of restrictions on immigrants introduced amid the coronavirus pandemic. Is this a good idea? Opinions are mixed. Will this be used as an excuse to restrict the number of immigrants? Many people believe so.

Restrictions and their purpose 

The restrictions introduced on June 24th extend the “pause” in the issuance of green cards that offer permanent resident status in the United States until Dec. 31. That’s not all, however! These restrictions also include several types of work visas:

  • The H-1B visa is widely used in the new technology sector and allows skilled or specialized workers to come to the U.S.
  • Most J visas are used for student researchers.
  • The L visas are for inter-company transfers, which are used for certain expatriate contracts.
  • H-2B visas are granted annually to low-skilled workers (with an exception for the food industry).
  • H-4 visas allow the wives of other visa holders to work.

The president’s priority is to put Americans back to work, but in doing so they are barring foreign workers from entering. A senior administration official said, “The president is expanding his April 2020 measures in light of rising unemployment and the number of unemployed Americans.”

The Washington Post said “Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller told White House supporters in a private call this week that the president’s new executive order curbing immigration will usher in the kind of broader long-term changes to American society he has advocated for years, even though the 60-day measures were publicly characterized as a ‘pause’ during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Other restrictions related to the work world

In addition to the work visa ban, the Department of Homeland Security has issued regulations preventing most U.S. asylum seekers from accessing work permits. The regulations are, therefore, an additional obstacle for people seeking refuge in the U.S. This rule is likely to affect thousands of migrant asylum seekers in the U.S. who rely on work permits to meet their needs while their cases are reviewed by U.S. immigration courts, which can take months or even years.

Some exceptions to enter the United States despite restrictions

If you cannot fit into another U.S. visa category, you may be able to enter if your case is in the “national interest” under the following circumstances:

  • Those necessary for the immediate and continuing economic recovery of the United States.
  • Individuals involved in clinical care or research related to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
  • Those that are essential to U.S. defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security.

External views on these restrictions


Senior executives in the technology sector are against the suspension of work visas because they believe it would “further damage an already devastated economy by hampering its recovery.” Donald Trump’s restrictions are criticized mainly in the technology sector because it is seen as a brake on innovation. Investors also disagree with the decision because they believe the ban will undermine the U.S.’s ability to compete.

Stonly Baptiste, the co-founder of the technology investment fund, said “Whether the administration realizes it or not, they are creating a significant handicap for American innovation.”

“Very much disagree with this action,” said Elon Musk on Twitter. “In my experience, these skillsets are net job creators. Visa reform makes sense, but this is too hard.”

Sundar Pichai also spoke out against the policy when saying “immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success,” on Twitter. “Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunities for all.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted about Donald Trump’s announcement. “Like Apple, this nation of immigrants has always found strength in our diversity, and hope in the promise of the American Dream,” he said.

“Restrictive changes to our country’s immigration system will drive investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth and reduce job creation,” said Thomas J. Donohue, chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In the order, Trump described the visa suspension as a way to ensure that Americans get scarce jobs first. However, it is clearly seen that his decision is nowhere near unanimous.


“Work visa suspensions will put the thumbs up on the labor market scale in favor of American workers,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.

“It’s really encouraging to see the president standing up against vested interests that are pushing for these visa programs,” Vaughan said.

The advantage for the United States of having immigrant workers 

Migrants or children of migrants founded 40% of the 500 largest American companies! A study conducted in December 2011 by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and the Partnership for a New American Economy, “Immigration and American Jobs”, shows that the arrival of 100 highly skilled immigrants to America allows for the creation of 44 jobs for nationals. According to this study, temporary workers, whether skilled or unskilled, also contribute to the boosting of the economy.


Sources: ml


Check our blog here!