President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday that will suspend temporary visas for foreign workers until the end of 2020, angering advocates who say he is targeting immigrants for domestic political reasons.
The order applies to a variety of work visas used for many types of jobs, a move that the administration says could free up as many as 525,000 jobs to be filled by Americans.
But immigration groups, which have been bracing for the order for days, argue that Trump is targeting immigrants to placate his political base.
“Immigrant workers are vital to the American workforce,” said Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council. “As our nation recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, immigrants in all industries will be essential to rebuilding our nation.”
Trump’s latest move follows his decision in April to temporarily suspend immigration to the U.S., a move he said was needed to protect American jobs in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump suspended the issuance of green cards for 60 days to foreign citizens who want to live in the U.S. That order was to expire Monday.