President Trump will extend visa restrictions on some foreign workers until the end of this year, Politico reported on Monday.
Trump implemented a 60-day “pause” on applications for permanent residencies in April, but with broad exemptions for workers applying for temporary residencies, including 85,000 workers on H1-B visas. That order will now be expanded somewhat to include skilled workers and seasonal workers in fields such as housekeeping, construction, and landscaping, sources familiar with the matter told Politico.
However, broad exemptions from restrictions will still apply, including for health care professionals. It is not clear which specific visas will be restricted under the new rules.
“You need [foreign workers] for big businesses where they have certain people that have been coming in for a long time,” Trump told Fox News on Saturday. The president will sign at least one executive order on the issue on Monday.
Trump has made restrictions on both legal and illegal immigration a centerpiece of his reelection campaign. However, the president’s April restriction on immigration, touted as a means of protecting American workers laid off during the coronavirus pandemic, was criticized by conservatives due to broad exemptions.
“Briefly delaying green cards for people, most of whom are already in the U.S. and working, and ignoring work visas doesn’t help U.S. workers and doesn’t ease pressure on hospitals,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said at the time. “This looks more like a political gesture than a serious policy move.”