As the pandemic continues, President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have sought to impose new and potentially sweeping restrictions on immigration. Back in April, Trump issued a presidential proclamation to temporarily block the issuance of green cards for individuals outside the United States. While those restrictions will remain in place for at least sixty days, Trump’s advisers have indicated this step may be a prelude to further measures. And recently, four Republican senators argued in a May 7 letter to the president for the suspension of guest worker visas, including H1-Bs for specialty occupation workers. Such measures are contrary to U.S. values, counterproductive in this crisis, and damaging to long-term American competitiveness.
This call for additional restrictions on immigration builds upon and goes beyond Trump’s initial decision, which was seemingly an attempt to appeal to his base. That measure which contains a number of exceptions has provoked widespread controversy, including due to its dubious legality. While the administration’s purported motivation for the extreme, almost unprecedented restriction was to protect American workers, there is also little evidence that immigration restrictions generally save jobs for U.S. workers or help American businesses. Instead, the decision’s primary impact has been to disrupt and alarm hundreds of thousands of individuals who are currently entangled within this labyrinthine system. And the recent proposals to expand restrictions on immigration to students and highly-skilled applicants could cause still greater harm to the American economy and innovation.
Read the full article in The National Interest.
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