President Trump ceased the issuance of J-1 visas to cheap, foreign au pairs for wealthy households in a last-minute move.
On Monday, Trump announced the suspension of H-1B, H-4, H-2B, L-1, L-2, and J-1 visa programs to give job priority to the more than 40 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed. The visa suspension will last until at least December 31.
Hours before Trump signed the expanded executive order, a draft exempted a huge flow of cheap foreign au pairs who arrive every year to the United States on J-1 visas to work for below-average wages in caring for the children of wealthy households.
In a briefing, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said the J-1 foreign visa au pairs were exempted from the order.
“They are not included in the bar … it’s not related to COVID,” Cuccinelli told Breitbart News of the purported au pair exemption.
At the last minute, though, Trump included the J-1 foreign visa au pairs in the visa suspension. The order states:
The entry into the United States of any alien seeking entry pursuant to any of the following nonimmigrant visas is hereby suspended and limited … a J visa, to the extent the alien is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien.
The move defies the State Department’s recent justification of the cheap foreign au pair program. In a regulation, confirmed this month, the State Department is defending the program’s below-average wage rates.
The regulation seeks to justify wealthy households importing foreign au pairs for less than $11,000 a year with a mandate that the au pair work for 45 hours every week. This equates to a wage rate of about $4.33 an hour.
In 2018, the foreign au pair program delivered more than 20,600 young people to upper-middle-class and wealthy households in the U.S. Nearly 60 percent of all foreign au pairs go to households in California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois, where there is a concentration of wealth.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.