President Trump signed an executive order to suspend the issue of new H-2B visas, along with other temporary worker visas, through the end of 2020, according to an article from The Hill.
The order also applies to H-1B visas, H-4 visas, L-1 visas and some J-1 visas. The move is a follow-up to signing a more narrow measure in April, according to officials in the article. The restrictions will remain in place for the rest of the calendar year and can be extended.
The order doesn’t apply to workers already in the U.S., and provides some exceptions in other cases, such as immigrants applying for visas to provide labor “essential to the United States food chain.” It also excludes those who the federal government determines “whose entry would be in the national interests.”
The visa restrictions will make more than half a million jobs available for workers already in the country, according to a senior administration official. Trump has also directed aides to work on longer term reforms to the immigration system, including a more merit-based system distributing H-1B visas based on applicants’ wage offers.The expanded restrictions follow an initial executive order in April that temporarily suspended the issuance of new green cards, giving the protection of American jobs during unemployment in the pandemic as a reason. That order, which included multiple exemptions, was set to expire this week, according to the article.