Chamber of Commerce Sues Trump to Import Foreign Workers While 26M Americans Jobless

Indian Workers on H1-B Visas APJason DeCrow
AP File Photo/Jason DeCrow

The Chamber of Commerce has filed a lawsuit against President Trump, demanding the 300,000 businesses it represents be allowed to import foreign workers while more than 26 million Americans remain jobless.

On Tuesday, Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue announced the group’s lawsuit against Trump’s expanded executive order, signed last month, which halts the H-1B, H-4, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 visa programs to reduce foreign competition against millions of unemployed Americans.

Donohue said in a statement:

Our lawsuit seeks to overturn these sweeping and unlawful immigration restrictions that are an unequivocal ‘not welcome’ sign to the engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses, and other critical workers who help drive the American economy. Left in place, these restrictions will push investment abroad, inhibit economic growth, and reduce job creation.

The lawsuit claims Trump does not have the authority as president to “alter the hiring practices of American employers as it relates to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the next few months” to give employment priority to unemployed Americans.

Businesses represented by the Chamber of Commerce, the lawsuit alleges, are “unable to fill necessary positions” – even amid mass, record unemployment levels spurred by the Chinese coronavirus crisis:

As a result of the Proclamation, American businesses … are unable to fill necessary positions. There is a shortage of high-skilled American workers in certain fields, and the Proclamation bars American companies from turning to the international labor market to fill these positions. As a result, many of those openings will go unfilled entirely. [Emphasis added]

In one specific instance, the lawsuit claims an Indian national in India is now unable to secure an L-1 visa to be transferred by his employer to the U.S. The lawsuit states:

He was slated to transfer to the U.S. on an L-1 visa to manage a $1.2 billion business portfolio that works with more than 4,000 businesses across the United States. Due to COVID-19, he was unable to get a visa appointment at the U.S. consulate before the consular posts closed, and now he is subject to the Proclamation. The time zone difference between India and the U.S.-based headquarters has made it difficult for him to manage his new team.

Despite the repeated claims of a labor shortage in the lawsuit, more than 26 million Americans are unemployed and another nearly ten million are underemployed. All of those jobless or underemployed Americans, though, want full-time employment.

The Chamber of Commerce had lobbied Trump not to reduce foreign competition against unemployed Americans, suggesting that even in the midst of mass joblessness, big business should be allowed to import foreign workers instead of hiring locally.

Every year, the U.S. admits about 1.2 million legal immigrants on green cards to permanently resettle in the country. In addition, another 1.4 million foreign workers are admitted every year to take American jobs. Often, Americans are fired and replaced by foreign visa workers. In many cases, fired Americans are forced to train their foreign replacements before they can receive their severance packages.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The case number is 3:20-cv-04887.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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