President Trump on Monday extended a freeze on green cards for new immigrants and signed an executive order to suspend new H-1B, L-1, J and other temporary work visas for skilled workers, managers and au pairs through the end of the year.
The goal of the move is to protect 525,000 jobs as part of the White House response to job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, said a senior administration official, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity. NPR first reported the impending order on Saturday.
“Americans have been hurt through no fault of their own due to the coronavirus,” the official said. “And the president is prioritizing getting them back into the labor supply and getting them to work and standing on their own two feet again.”
The order targets H-1B visas, which are designed for certain skilled workers such as those employed in the tech industry, as well as L-1 visas, which are meant for executives who work for large corporations.
But other workers will also be affected, including foreign au pairs who provide child care. Professors and scholars are not to be included in the order, the official said. There will be a provision to request exemptions. The order is not expected to affect immigrants and visa holders already in the United States.
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