Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) expressed support for President Donald Trump’s recent proclamation extending and expanding a temporary freeze on certain categories of visas as millions of American workers remain sidelined by the ongoing pandemic. In May, Grassley joined Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and others in calling on the administration to expand President Trump’s April 22nd proclamation to include additional categories of guest worker visas until unemployment caused by the pandemic returns to normal levels.
“As businesses slowly begin to reopen after pandemic-induced closures, many Americans are still out of work and unemployment across the nation remains at near record levels. We must do everything we can to ensure Americans have jobs to go back to as the economy begins to rev back up. I’m grateful that President Trump acted to preserve opportunities for American workers. We’ve seen how the H-1B and H-2B visa programs have created a drag on jobs, job opportunities and wages for Americans workers – even in normal times. Our first priority must always be to protect American workers and their livelihoods, and I think this new proclamation helps us do that,” Grassley said.
The President’s proclamation extends an earlier visa freeze through the remainder of 2020 and expands the moratorium to nonimmigrant work visa programs such as H-1B, H-2B, L and J visas. It also contains a number of exemptions for workers providing essential services or for individuals whose entry is determined to be in the national interest.
Grassley recently led a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers in proposing reforms to immigrant visa programs to better protect American workers.