On Tuesday (Washington time), US President Donald Trump said that he will temporarily halt issuing of new Green Cards for the next 60 days, however, he backed away from plans to suspend guest worker programs after business groups showed anger over the threat of losing access to foreign labour.
Trump first announced his decision to "suspend immigration" to the USA to protect the citizens of the country amid the pandemic via Twitter.
In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020
"By pausing immigration, it will help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens," Trump said at his daily briefing on Tuesday.
The latest restriction imposed is likely to impact thousands of Indians awaiting their employment-based Green Cards.
"We must first take care of the American worker. This pause will be in effect for 60 days, after which need for any extension or modification will be evaluated by myself and a group of people based on economic conditions at the time," Trump said.
Over 22 million Americans have lost their jobs in efforts made to contain the spread to COVID-19.
"It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad. We must first take care of the American worker," Trump said.
The decision not to block guest worker programs, that provides specific visas for technology workers, farm labourers and others, after business groups assailed the White House on Tuesday. Jason Oxman, president of the Information Technology Industry Council, a trade group, said in a statement on Tuesday that "the United States will not benefit from shutting down legal immigration."
According to The New York Times, numerous studies have concluded that immigration has an overall positive effect on the American workforce and wages for workers.
Foreign immigrants have also been known to start businesses and create jobs for locals in the USA. The move may not necessarily protect American workers or the US economy.