The Trump administration was blocked from restricting H-1B visas that highly skilled foreign technology workers rely on to work in the U.S. The ruling conflicts with
U.S. District Judge
White said his order doesn’t apply nationwide but only to the members of the plaintiff organizations. Those members, which include giants like
Trump declared in a June proclamation that foreign workers pose a threat to the U.S. labor market amid the downturn caused by coronavirus pandemic. His decree froze new H-1B and H-4 visas, used by technology workers and their families, as well as L visas for intra-company transfers and most J visas for work- and study-abroad programs, including au pairs, through the end of the year. Thursday’s order also blocks restrictions on J and L visas.
Foreign Affairs Conduct
In his ruling, White distinguished the visa ban from Trump’s earlier travel ban restricting nationals of six predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S., which was upheld by the Supreme Court as a legitimate exercise of the president’s power to conduct foreign affairs.
The visa ban “deals with a purely domestic economic issue -- the loss of employment during a national pandemic,” the judge wrote. “This court rejects the position that the proclamation implicates the president’s foreign affairs powers simply because it affects immigration.”
White added: “There must be some measure of constraint on presidential authority in the domestic sphere in order not to render the executive an entirely monarchical power in the immigration context.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Chamber is a longtime supporter of high-skilled immigration and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which provides legal status for some migrants who entered the country as children.
There are approximately 580,000 foreign workers with H-1B visas in specialized jobs in the U.S., according to the suit. Almost 160,000 L visas were issued in 2019 for executives, managers and employees with special experience and their dependents, and about 300,000 exchange visitors enter the U.S. annually on J visas, the Chamber said.
Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is among the companies that have expressed support for a court order blocking Trump’s policy.
(Updates with judge’s ruling in fourth paragraph)
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