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President Trump’s Personal Beliefs on Immigration are Affecting H-1B Visa Holders

President Trump has banned the entry of H-1B visa holders for almost all categories of immigrants since 2020. The proclamations addressing the visas that were issued in April and June of 2020 have been extended. The extension will end on March 31, 2021. Critics of President Trump believe that he is overriding parts of the United States immigration system based on his personal beliefs.

President Trump’s administration suspended the entry of many immigrants that were arriving for employment in a proclamation. The American Immigration Lawyers Association sued to stop the Trump administration from repealing the State Department’s policy for reserving visas for FY 2020 Diversity Lottery winners. Judge Mehta sustained the proclamation and suspended the entry of many immigrants, effectively ending the Diversity Visa program.

In another H1-B case, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White cited an analysis that was done in June 2020 by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) which showed data from January to May of 2020. This data showed the unemployment rate in computer occupations, which had remained stable and showed many available job openings. This occupation lines up with H-1B visa holders and this information was available at the time of President Trump’s June 2020 proclamation. The NFAP analysis showed that there were 639,000 active job postings during a 30-day period that ended on June 9, 2020. H-1B visa holders are considered fully qualified for these computer occupations.

Judge White stated that it is the job of the president to support the domestic economy by providing more job opportunities for the American people. The proclamation ignores the current economic reality and the unemployment rate. Judge White also mentions that pandemic related unemployment is concentrated in areas where the ban is impacting the ability of companies to hire for higher-skilled positions that could be filled by H-1B visa holders.

There has been a 17% increase in job vacancy posting in computer occupations since May 2020. There were 731,762 job vacancy postings as of November 17, 2020, that were advertised online requiring at least a bachelor’s degree.

On December 1, 2020, several judges, including Judge White, ruled against the Department of Labor for violating the Administration Procedure Act. The judges decided that the data showing H-1B visa holders working in computer occupations and the unemployment rate did not show the economic emergency that President Trump’s administration said existed.

President Trump claimed that he needed to extend the time for the two proclamations he created due to the unemployment rate. This same day, the administration released a video with President Trump bragging about the strength of the economy and the employment in the U.S.

The unemployment rate between 2009 and 2013 was over 6.7% in almost every month. In November 2020, the unemployment rate dropped more than 50% since the first proclamation was created in April 2020. These numbers show how unequal it is to claim the need to block immigration because of the unemployment rate when evidence shows that immigration contributes to reduced unemployment. A study done by economist and the University of North Florida Professor Madeline Zavodny for the National Foundation for American Policy found that H-1B visa holders are associated with lower unemployment rates. Professor Zavodny also stated that immigration does not play a role in U.S native’s unemployment and that it does not reduce their participation in the workforce. Professor Zavodny stated that having more immigrants reduces unemployment and raises the labor force.

Last week, President Biden ordered a freeze on the implementation of all federal rules related to immigration approved by the Trump administration during his last 60 days in office, including all rules related to H1-B visas. The Biden administration is reviewing these new rules and is likely to overturn many of them. Biden has indicated his support for the H1-B program.

If you have any questions regarding how this issue may impact your case, please call Pikes Peak Immigration to schedule a consultation or a meeting.

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