As part of the declared national emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump issued executive orders placing temporary restrictions on the number of immigrants who could lawfully enter the country.
Now, reports indicate that the Trump administration is considering a suspension of work visas that could last at least several more months, according to The Daily Caller.
The purpose of limiting immigration for the time being is actually two-fold — namely, to prevent the entry into the country of potentially infected individuals while also protecting laid-off American workers from additional competition for jobs during the coronavirus-related economic downturn.
White House weighs options
The internal discussion in the White House about extending legal immigration restrictions for several more months was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
According to reports, an order could potentially be issued that would impose a suspension on H1-B work visas for skilled foreign workers as well as H2-B work visas for seasonal migrant workers until at least Oct. 1, but perhaps even longer than that.
According to The New York Times, acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli alluded to the possible restrictions during an event for the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, saying, “We’re going to see some more news on that probably sometime soon.”
Draft version of order leaked
The New York Post also reported on the putative executive order and noted that senior White House adviser Stephen Miller, who is something of a hardliner on the topic of immigration, was believed to be a driving force behind the move.
It was unclear at this time if the anticipated order would also extend to limitations on the number of green cards issued for new permanent residents or would only be focused on work visas.
Supposedly, the Times received a draft copy of the executive order presently under consideration, and it purportedly emphasized the notion that President Trump had full authority to extend the restrictions indefinitely in light of the ongoing public health crisis, the Post reported.
Too much or too little?
It will be interesting to see what sort of reaction this potential move will garner if the administration follows through with the executive order as predicted.
The Daily Caller noted that initial reactions to the imposition of limits back in April were decidedly mixed, with some on the left decrying the decision as xenophobic and far too harsh.
Others on the right, such as Fox News host Tucker Carlson, suggested that there were too many exceptions to the restrictions and that they hadn’t gone far enough.