Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wrote a letter to President Donald Trump suggesting he suspend visas for guest workers “during recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”
The news was first reported by Politico. The lawmakers suggest Trump suspend guest worker visas for 60 days and prevent some workers from returning to the U.S. for up to a year. Exceptions would apply only to companies that can prove they can’t hire U.S. citizens to fill their open positions.
“After sixty days, we urge you to continue to suspend new nonimmigrant guest workers for one year or until our national unemployment figures return to normal levels, whichever comes first,” the senators recommend. “That suspension should, at minimum, include H-2B visas (nonagricultural seasonal workers), H-1B visas (specialty occupation workers), and the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program (extension of foreign student visas after graduation). We also urge you to suspend the E-B5 immigrant visa program, effective immediately.”
You can read the complete letter HERE.
The Department of Labor reported that an additional 3.2 million Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, after factoring in seasonal adjustments, which are used to account for seasonal hiring fluctuations. Without those adjustments, the number is 2.8 million.
The total number of unemployed Americans now stands at more than 33 million. The weekly numbers have declined since reaching a peak of 6.9 million claims in late March.
The president has acknowledged the reopening the nation’s economy would result in more illness and death from the pandemic, but has continued to advocate for it anyway.
“Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes,” Trump said earlier this week. “But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.”