NTF issue paper: president65.doc. 6-20.

. The advent of the COVID-19 virus has significantly and adversely affected businesses and employees. The unemployment rate nationally quadrupled from Feb. through May of 2020, to 13.3%, causing the most extreme unemployment recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thousands of Nebraskans are unemployed or furloughed. 45.7 million workers have filed for unemployment compensation since mid-March, more than 25% of the U.S. labor force of 164.6 million. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned earlier this month that unemployment could still set at 9.3% nationwide at the end of the year.

. Pres. Trump issued an executive order called Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery. Without this order, the U.S. would face a protracted economic recovery with persistently high unemployment, foreign labor supply filling labor demand. Therefore, Trump suspended the entry of several classifications of immigrants, with exceptions. Because immigrant labor now is detrimental to the U.S., entry of immigrants will become subject to restrictions, limitations, and exceptions. Suspended are H-1B and H-2B visas and other aliens accompanying holders. Also suspended are J visas for immigrants seeking to become interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, nannies, engineers, and those accompanying them. Also suspended are L visas and those seeking to accompany them. The Secs. of State, Labor, & Homeland Security will establish standards to define who fits these categories of aliens. Aliens who fraudulently fill out applications or willfully misrepresent themselves will face deportation. Unfortunately, this executive order, enacted on June 24, will expire on Dec. 31, 2020 but may continue. Trump believes he has a moral duty to preserve jobs for Americans. His effort will guarantee that businesses interview Americans first when hiring. The Trump Administration has also finalized regulations to eliminate the incentive to file an asylum application for the primary purpose of obtaining an Employment Authorization Document. It also will close loopholes that have allowed U.S. employers to replace American workers with low-cost foreign labor. Trump narrowed the types of medical workers who can enter the U.S. to only those working on COVID-19 care or research. Exempt are aliens who would provide temporary labor or services essential to our food supply chain, like in packing plants. This order does not affect green card holders or those with valid visas today, farm workers, food processors, and most in health care and national security sectors. The U.S. issued more than 900,000 visas in FY 2019 in the categories Trump froze.

. Once admitted with visas, immigrants enjoy employment authorization, documents permitting them immediate eligibility to compete for almost all jobs in all sectors of our economy. Because the ongoing virus crisis will require months for the employment picture to brighten, and because there now exist insufficient ways to protect unemployed Americans from the threat of competition for scarce jobs from these immigrants, Trump acted swiftly. The Sec. of Labor and Sec. of Homeland Security reviewed immigration programs and discovered that current admission of workers in several visa categories poses a risk of displacing and disadvantaging American workers during the recovery. U.S. workers compete with immigrants for jobs in every economic sector, including millions who seek temporary work. These temps often bring with them their spouses and children, many of whom also compete against U.S. workers. Between Feb. and April, 2020, over 17 million jobs lost in industries in which employers wanted to fill worker positions tied to H-2B visas. During this same period, over 20 million Americans lost their jobs in key industries where employers currently seek H-1B and L foreign workers to fill job slots. In May, the unemployment rate for young Americans who compete with foreign J visa applicants was a high 29.9% for 16-19 yr. olds and 23.2% for the 20-24 age sector. Therefore, the entry of additional immigrants through H-1B (85,000 in 2019), H-4 tech workers, H-2B temp, food service, hospitality, landscaping, and seasonal workers (66,000 in 2019), J visa seasonal workers and camp counselors, J-1 cultural and academic exchanges, excluding scholars, and L executive transfer business personnel programs present a serious threat to employment for Americans. Critics say many companies have abused the H-1B program to displace American workers. H-1B visas are temporary work authorizations for people with highly specialized knowledge or skills. Indians are the major recipients of H-1Bs, 74%. Conservatives allege that Indian IT outsourcing companies like Tata have taken advantage of the H-1B visa rule to build their U.S. businesses by paying Indian workers lower wages than American counterparts. The second-largest contingent of H-1B visa holders come from Red China with 50,609 visas, or 13%. The current cap for those visas is 85,000 annually. H-4 visas issue to immediate family members of H-1B visa holders. H-2B visas go mostly to Mexican workers. In 2019, 74% of the almost 100,000 H-2B visas issued went to Mexican laborers. Excess foreign labor supply is especially harmful to those who become hired last during economic expansion and first fired during employment contraction. Normally, when recovering from economic shocks that cause significantly less productivity, recoveries in employment lag behind improved economic activity. The U.S. economy will need several months to return to 2019 economic output and additional months to restore stable labor demand. The Sec. of Labor will produce regulations and take other actions to ensure that immigrants already here under EB-2, EB-3, or H-1B visas do not take jobs from Americans. He also will use existing yet dormant statutory authority to investigate abuses in the H-1B program, including allegedly discriminatory practices. The liberal Migration Policy Institute estimates that 167,000 temp workers will face barring. A senior Administration official told journalists the order would open 525,000 jobs in the U.S., currently reeling from a high unemployment rate caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

. A huge majority of Americans support pausing immigration while our economy recovers. A U. of Maryland poll found that 65% support reining in immigration. A Pew Research Center poll found that 81% of Americans view mass worker immigration as a threat.

. Conservative Sen. Ted Cruz (TX.) agreed that the U.S. must focus on preserving American jobs. Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Chuck Grassley (IA.), and Josh Hawley (MO.) asked the President to pause guest worker visas between 60 days and a year or until unemployment has returned to normal levels. 6 House Republicans, including Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (AZ.), followed their lead with their own supportive letter. NumbersUSA, a conservative immigration group, applauded the Trump decision, saying it offers an opportunity for U.S. employers to widen their recruitment efforts in underserved communities. A spokesman for Federation for American Immigration reform stated, “President Trump has repeatedly promised that he would put American workers first, and to his credit, he did just that. For the most part, the president withstood intense pressure from powerful business interests that continue to demand more cheap foreign labor, even as they have laid off an unprecedented number of American workers over the past three months.” “This is a bold move by the Trump Administration to protect American jobs,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for restrictions. “Not all the items on our checklist of needed actions are included in today’s announcement, but the corporate lobbyists who were desperately fighting for exceptions to protect their clients’ access to cheap foreign labor have largely been rebuffed.”

. Socialist Democrats in Congress and leftist immigrant rights group and other advocacy organizations oppose this pause. The American Immigration Lawyers Association falsely claims that citizens will not take jobs filled by foreigners. The computer tech industry, which flagrantly displaces American workers for foreigners who work cheaper, expressed strong opposition. Major companies, including Amazon, Google, and Twitter, criticized the move, saying it would make American companies less competitive and less diverse. However, these companies, all led by leftwingers, often hire foreigners before offering jobs to Americans.  Amazon accounted for at least 7,500 H-1B applications in 2019, and Google and Apple submitted over 6,500 and 3,500 applications respectively.

. Americans, Nebraskans included, deserve the first opportunities to gain and regain employment as the coronavirus subsides. Contact your representative and 2 senators to publicly support this Trump directive to reserve and preserve jobs for Nebraskans. Urge them to cooperate with President Trump to make permanent this executive order. Use the above information to lobby and join the NTF President Watch Project.

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 6-20. C

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