Who is Impacted by the Proclamation?
President Donald Trump temporarily suspended the entry into the United States of certain foreign workers on Monday via a proclamation. The ban goes into affect Wednesday (June 24th), and runs until December 31, 2020.
The list of visas impacted is:
The proclamation also blocks family members who would accompany workers on such visas.
Exceptions are made for critical researchers working on COVID-19, as well as those working on projects "in the national interest".
The administration estimates the cuts will impact 525,00 potential foreign-born workers over the next 6 monts.
Reaction has been largely negative, particularly in the technology sector which relies heavily on foreign-born workers to fill critical skill-gaps. Recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the unemployment rate for computer-related occupations had declined from 3% in January 2020 to 2.5% in May, even as the unemployment rate for other occupations grew from 4.1% to 13.5%, according to an analysis by Forbes.
Alphabet (Google) CEO Sundar Pichai expressed his disappointment with the decision: “Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. We are disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all.” TechNet President and CEO Linda Moore said: “Today’s executive order only hinders the ability of businesses to make decisions on how best to deploy their existing workforce and hire new employees. This will slow innovation and undermine the work the technology industry is doing to help our country recover from unprecedented events.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas J. Donohue today issued a statement:
“Today’s proclamation is a severe and sweeping attempt to restrict legal immigration. Putting up a ‘not welcome’ sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other workers won’t help our country, it will hold us back. Restrictive changes to our nation’s immigration system will push investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth, and reduce job creation.
In a statement provided to Business Insider, Amazon said: "We oppose the Administration's short-sighted action. Preventing high skilled professionals from entering the country and contributing to America's economic recovery puts American's global competitiveness at risk. The value of high-skilled visa programs is clear, and we are grateful for the many Amazon employees from around the world that have come to the U.S. to innovate new products and services for our customers. Welcoming the best and the brightest global talent to the U.S. is more important than ever, and we will continue to support efforts that will preserve their ability to strengthen our economy."
Statement on US high-skilled immigration proclamation:— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) June 22, 2020
"This proclamation undermines America’s greatest economic asset: its diversity. People from all over the world come here to join our labor force, pay taxes, and contribute to our global competitiveness on the world stage.
Microsoft president Brad Smith tweeted, “Now is not the time to cut our nation off from the world’s talent or create uncertainty and anxiety. Immigrants play a vital role at our company and support our country’s critical infrastructure. They are contributing to this country at a time when we need them most.”
Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke, a German immigrant to Canada, tweeted out an invitation to tech workers wanting to immigrate to the U.S. to come to Canada:
If this affects your plans consider coming to Canada 🇨🇦 instead. Shopify is hiring all over the world and we have lots of experience helping with relocation. Let us know at https://t.co/dmzfp4EwB9 https://t.co/yUUjoEt9gp— Tobi Lutke 🌳🌲🛒🕹 (@tobi) June 23, 2020
Foreign-born workers in the United States account for a fifth of STEM workers with a bachelor's degree and more than half of those with a Ph.D. In a paper released last April, researchers Sari Pekkala Kerr and William Kerr found that immigrants account for about a quarter of U.S. entrepreneurship and innovation. Immigration from Asia is a key driver, with Chinese and Indian ethnic inventors accounting for 22 percent of U.S. patents in 2018 versus fewer than 3 percent in 1975. Studies demonstrate that immigrants have been found to patent at double the rate of native-born Americans because they are more likely to hold science and engineering degrees.
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