Trump to extend US work visa freeze to year-endArchive
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump will prolong a ban on US employment permits to year-end and broaden it to include H-1B visas used widely in the tech industry, the White House said on Monday.
A senior administration official told journalists the move would affect 525,000 jobs in the US, which is currently reeling from a high unemployment rate caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump had repeatedly touted a strong economy, but now finds himself desperate for a political boost ahead of the November election.
The executive order, signed on Monday afternoon, will extend and widen the 60-day freeze Trump placed on new work permits for non-US citizens two months ago.
The administration official said the new order would extend to the end of 2020 and include H-1B visas provided to 85,000 workers each year with special skills, many of them joining the US technology industry.
It will also cover most J visas, common for academics and researchers, and L visas used by companies to shift workers based overseas to their US offices.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai — whose company has been a leading beneficiary of the H1-B visa system — said he was “disappointed” by the announcement.
“Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech,” he wrote on Twitter.