Criticism Mounts over Administration’s Curbs on Legal Immigration

The most recent Presidential Proclamation  effective June 24th through December 31st, 2020 prohibiting entry of foreign workers coming to the U.S. to work for specific employers who have petitioned for them (and who, in the case of H-2B seasonal non-agricultural workers, had to prove that there were no U.S. workers available and willing to fill the jobs) is facing strong backlash from business and G.O.P. leaders.

Here’s a sampling of reactions and analyses issued both before and after the suspension of entry of H-1B professional, specialized knowedge workers, L-1 multinational managers and transferees, H-2B seasonal workers, and J-1 exchange visitors was officially announced on June 22, 2020.

Over 300 business leaders from a variety of sectors:  “Constraints on our human capital are likely to result in unintended consequences and may cause substantial economic uncertainty if we have to recalibrate our personnel based on country of birth.”

Barrons:  Eric Schmidt:  “Shutting the door to global talent in every industry will also impede job creation by making it harder for U.S. companies of all sizes to flourish—and start-ups will be the hardest-hit.”

Bloomberg:   “(T)he U.S. president’s decision this week to freeze access to certain employment visas gives Canada an opportunity to win back some of the workers it loses to America.”

Brookings:   “(T)he restrictions targeting high-skilled immigration hurt the U.S. economy, and the crucial role immigrants play as engines of economic growth and job creation.”

Business Insider:  “According to Harvard Business Review, immigrants in the US tend to contribute about twice as much to entrepreneurship as native-born citizens do and also tend to create more successful businesses. A study from Harvard Business School found that immigrant-founded businesses performed better in terms of employment growth over three and six years than businesses founded by native citizens.”

Cato Institute:  “A sharp recovery requires that employers be able to follow through on their hires and get back to normal as soon as possible. By targeting their foreign employees, Trump is undermining, not aiding, the recovery. ”

Forbes“It seems dubious to observers for the administration to cite the overall national unemployment rate to justify blocking the entry of an executive of a multinational corporation or another employee who already works for the company on an L visa, or to prevent the entry of individuals on H-1B visas in occupations with low unemployment rates. Jon Baselice of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said preventing businesses from transferring executives and workers into the country will discourage them from investing in the United States, which will harm job creation. ”

Foreign Policy:   Edward Alden:  Trump’s Anti-Immigration Crusade Is About to Strike at the Heart of the U.S. Economy.  Foreign talent has been the secret sauce of America’s innovation economy. The door is about to shut.

Senator Lindsey Graham:   “(T)hose who believe legal immigration, particularly work visas, are harmful to the American worker do not understand the American economy.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce:  “Today’s proclamation is a severe and sweeping attempt to restrict legal immigration. Putting up a ‘not welcome’ sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other workers won’t help our country, it will hold us back. Restrictive changes to our nation’s immigration system will push investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth, and reduce job creation.”

Wall Street Journal “Trump’s Immigration Gift to China” (paywall)

Yahoo Finance:    Business leaders from tech companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Tesla, Twitter and more speak out against the Presidential Proclamation.  “All industries benefit from a visa system that allows U.S. companies to attract the best and brightest no matter where they’re from.”