Senate Republicans Urge Joe Biden to Extend Order Prioritizing Americans for Jobs

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senate Republicans are urging President Joe Biden to extend a pandemic-related executive order that prioritizes unemployed Americans for United States white-collar jobs by halting a number of foreign visa worker programs.

In June 2020, Trump signed an executive order halting H-1B visas, H-4 visas, H-2B visas, L visas, and J-1 visas while tens of millions of Americans were jobless or underemployed due to economic lockdowns as a result of the Chinese coronavirus crisis.

The order was set to expire at the end of 2020, but Trump intervened to extend the order to continue prioritizing U.S. jobs for unemployed Americans instead of allowing businesses to import foreign visa workers in a struggling labor market where nearly 17 million Americans remain jobless.

Now, the order will expire on March 31. Sources to the media have indicated Biden will let the order expire. Senate Republicans, though, are asking Biden to protect the labor market by extending the order.

In a letter to Biden, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wrote that “with millions of struggling Americans out of work — and millions more desperate to make ends meet — now is not the time to open the floodgates to thousands of foreign workers competing with American workers for scarce jobs and resources.”

Hawley continued:

In periods of high unemployment, it makes no sense to allow a struggling labor market to be flooded with a wave of foreign competition. What makes even less sense is to willingly introduce further competition for U.S. workers at the same time that a disastrous illegal immigration crisis grows on our southern border. As at the border, failure to take meaningful action is, in itself, a policy decision with detrimental impacts for American workers. [Emphasis added]

I urge you to extend the temporary foreign worker entry suspension until the national unemployment rate has meaningfully declined, and until your administration has conducted a thorough review of nonimmigrant visa programs to ensure that American workers are fully and effectively protected from harm. In the meantime, I will continue to work to develop legislative solutions that will protect American workers and promote a quick recovery. [Emphasis added]

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) blasted Biden in a post online for seemingly indicating that he will let the order expire, thus packing foreign visa workers into U.S. jobs and giving in to tech corporations’ demands.

Likewise, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote that “it makes no sense [to] hand U.S. jobs to foreigners. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) made a similar statement, suggesting Biden was putting the interests of tech corporations above the interests of jobless Americans.

As Breitbart News has reported, big business and corporate interests have been lobbying Biden for months, pleading with the administration to end the order that has prevented employers from importing foreign visa workers to take U.S. jobs rather than recruiting and hiring qualified Americans.

In February, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups — who admittedly rely on cheaper foreign workers to boost their profit margins — lobbied top Biden administration officials to end the order so they can import foreign workers more easily.

An expiration to the order would come as Biden restarted specific green card categories allowing companies to fill U.S. jobs with foreign workers.

The latest survey from Rasmussen Reports finds that 66 percent of likely U.S. voters say it is better for businesses to raise wages and provide better benefits to recruit Americans rather than importing foreign workers — 73 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats, and 62 percent of swing voters.

Likewise, 65 percent of voters said the nation’s labor market “already has enough talented people to train and recruit for most of those jobs” and does not need more while 75 percent of voters said they want to reduce overall legal immigration levels.

Current immigration levels put downward pressure on U.S. wages while redistributing about $500 billion in wealth away from America’s working and middle class and towards employers and new arrivals, research by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has found.

Similarly, peer-reviewed research by economist Christoph Albert acknowledges that “as immigrants accept lower wages, they are preferably chosen by firms and therefore have higher job finding rates than natives, consistent with evidence found in U.S. data.” Albert’s research also finds that immigration “raises competition” for native-born Americans in the labor market.

Every year, about 1.2 million legal immigrants are rewarded with green cards to permanently resettle in the U.S., and another 1.4 million foreign nationals are given temporary visas. In addition, hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are added to the U.S. population annually.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.