Policy Brief on Economic Harm of Administration’s Suspension of H-1B Visa Holders’ Entry

A July 2020 policy brief from the UC Davis Global Migration Center finds that the recent Presidential Proclamation suspending entry of H-1B visa holders through December 31, 2020 will damage the economy.

Couched as a move to prevent job competition between international H-1B professional level, specialized knowledge workers (who often have completed their undergraduate or graduate studies here) and U.S. workers, the brief’s economist authors conclude that the Presidential Proclamation’s

view is myopic and inconsistent with what we know from economic research. Moreover, it represents just the latest of several recent decisions from the current administration designed to discourage many forms of legal entry for skilled foreign workers. In fact, economic evidence suggests that such restrictions will reduce long-term economic growth while also failing to increase the employment of Americans. In short, the suspension of H-1B visas will ultimately have a negative impact on the American economy.

You can read the reasoning behind the policy brief’s conclusions here.

A lawsuit challenging an April 2020 Presidential Proclamation banning entry of most immigrants was amended on July 17, 2020 to include and seek an injunction blocking the June 22, 2020 proclamation banning entry of H-1B, L-1, H-2B and J-1 nonimmigrant workers.  The lawsuit states

There is no evidence showing that immigrants and foreign-born workers “displace” U.S. workers, while there is overwhelming evidence that immigrants and foreign-born workers create additional jobs in the United States by consuming goods and services, innovating, and contributing to human and physical capital formation, all of which are essential to long-term and sustained economic growth.

At least one other lawsuit has been filed seeking to block application of the Presidential Proclamation as it applies to H-1B visa holders and their spouses and children.