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COVID-19 Economy: Donald Trump suspends H-1B, other visas till year end
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COVID-19 Economy: Donald Trump suspends H-1B, other visas till year end

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 23 Jun 2020, 03:13 am

Washington: In an attempt to help the COVID-19 hit economy of the nation, US President Donald Trump has suspended issuing of H-1B visas, which is popular among Indian  IT professionals, and several other foreign work visas till the end of the year.

"President Donald J. Trump is extending and expanding the suspension of certain visas through the end of the year to ensure American workers take first priority as we recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus," read a statement issued by the White House.

"President Trump is extending the pause on new immigrant visas through the end of the year to ensure we continue putting American workers first during our ongoing coronavirus recovery," it said.

"President Trump is building on this measure with an additional pause on several job-related nonimmigrant visas—H-1Bs, H-2Bs without a nexus to the food-supply chain, certain H-4s, as well as Ls and certain Js—preserving jobs for American citizens," the statement said.

It said: "With some exceptions, we should not permit large numbers of foreign workers to enter the United States at a time when so many Americans are out of work."

The White House said the Trump Administration will reform the immigration system to prioritize the highest-skilled workers and protect American jobs.  

"At President Trump’s direction, the Trump Administration is taking action to reform our H-1B immigration program.Under these reforms, the H-1B program will prioritize those workers who are offered the highest wage, ensuring that the highest-skilled applicants are admitted," read the statement.

These reforms will help protect the wages of American workers and ensure that foreign labor entering our country is high skilled and does not undercut the United States labor market, the White House said.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai criticised the move and tweeted: "Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation - we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all."