President Donald Trump on Monday signed an order to suspend various work visas till the end of the year to spur jobs for the locals in the county. The decision was taken after reports suggested that lakhs of US locals have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
The new order freezes H1-B and H-4 visas, used by technology workers and their families, as well as L visas for intracompany transfers and most J visas for work- and study-abroad programs, including au pairs, through the end of the year.
“Under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers,” Trump said in his order.
Moreover, issuing of Green Card, which asserts the permanent residency of an immigrant in the US, will also remain halt throughout the end of the year. The action will also pause some H2-B visas with exceptions for those in the food-processing industry.
However, tech giants, including Google, Amazon and Twitter are not happy about the visas being suspended. The big tech companies have said that halting the entry of immigrants into the States will affect the technology industry, which is the key to the revival of the US economy.
Google and Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai had called the decision disappointing.
Over the years, many tech firms in the US have relied on work visas to hire foreign talent that has proven beneficial for not only the firms but also the tech industry. But, also over the years, there has been a constant decline in the issuing of H1-B visas, which stood at 8.7 million in 2019 from 10.9 million in 2015.