President Trump is reportedly reviewing plans to expand his immigration executive order to halt the massive inflow of foreign visa workers as a pro-American worker grassroots campaign grows.
Trump, according to Politico, may expand the order to reduce foreign labor market competition while more than 36 million Americans are unemployed. The existing order limits a small portion of green cards that make up less than ten percent of all legal immigration.
The expansion of the order, Politico reports, could include a halt on the J-1 visa program f0r foreign exchange visitors, the OPT program for foreign graduates, the H-1B visa for white-collar foreign workers, and the H-2B visa for blue-collar foreign workers:
To try and balance the two sides, the administration is considering limiting the number of immigrants who come to the United States for cultural exchanges — generally those hired for summer jobs at amusement parks, camps and resorts — as well as students attending U.S. colleges hired for temporary employment, according to four people, including an administration official and Republican Capitol Hill staffer involved with the discussions. It is also looking at cutting visas for skilled workers in specialty occupations and seasonal workers who work in industries that include landscaping, housekeeping and construction industries, they say. [Emphasis added]
Trump is still weighing even broader restrictions, though, that would bar all categories of guest workers except those who work on farms, according to a senior DHS official. But a White House official said all decisions, including immigration, are being viewed through the lens of reopening the country, making it extremely unlikely Trump take such a sweeping step and anger business leaders. [Emphasis added]
As Breitbart News reported, 30 college student organizations recently sent a letter to Trump asking him to end the OPT program and halt H-1B visa admissions.
The OPT program ensures that corporations like Amazon, Google, Deloitte, and Intel can continue to hire thousands of OPT foreign workers over American STEM graduates every year at a 15 percent discount. The program helps shift billions of dollars from heartland communities to metropolises in blue states with wealthy residents.
Similarly, there are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the U.S. at any given moment. Americans are often laid off in the process and forced to train their foreign replacements. More than 85,000 Americans annually potentially lose their jobs to H-1B foreign visa workers.
Grassroots organizations — such as the American Workers Coalition, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and U.S. Tech Workers — have increased pressure on the White House to halt foreign visa worker programs.
President of the SDSU College Republicans Oliver Krvaric said their letter has generated growing interest among other college student organizations who want to see less foreign competition in the labor market after graduation.
“We’re enormously heartened by the response to our letter at all levels of public discourse. We’ve had numerous organizations reach out to us since we went public and we’re looking to get them included as soon as possible,” Krvaric told Breitbart News.
“Putting American graduates and American workers — and their families by extension — first during this time of economic crisis is common sense,” Krvaric said. “This is also an opportunity for America’s leading student organizations such as [Turning Point USA], [Young America’s Foundation], and the [College Republican National Comittee] to step up and demonstrate their willingness to fight for their members’ interests.”
FAIR Government Relations Associate Preston Huennekens told Breitbart News that an expansion of Trump’s order to include ending the OPT program and halting H-1B visa admissions is a sensible approach at a time of mass unemployment.
“As a fellow recent graduate, what these organizations are asking for makes perfect sense,” Huennekens said. “Why should America’s graduating seniors compete against thousands of foreign alternates in the worst job market since the Great Depression? Studying abroad is not a guest worker program or path to citizenship. Ending OPT and pausing flawed guest worker programs is a common-sense move only opposed by corporate lobbyists regurgitating the same talking points.”
Any expansion of the order would be closer in line with Trump’s originally-drafted order, which included a moratorium on not only H-1B visas, H-2B visas, and J-1 visas, but also B visas, L visas, and O visas.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.