On Monday, The White House revealed that President Donald Trump has prolonged a ban on the issuance of US employment permits for new immigrants, foreigners to year-end and broaden it to include H-1B visas used widely in the tech industry.
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 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.
Trump said that between February and April of 2020,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.
Also, the May unemployment rate for young Americans, who compete with certain J nonimmigrant visa applicants, has been particularly high — 29.9 percent for 16 19 year olds, and 23.2 percent for the 20-24 year old group.
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