The decree issued by the Donald Trump administration this week, drastically limiting legal immigration to the United States, left hundreds of people and companies challenged to understand whether their future plans have now been ruined.
The work visas targeted by the administration’s decision are designed for a variety of jobs in the US, including the healthcare, education and technology sectors. There are some exceptions, such as people treating COVID-19 patients or conducting research to help the United States fight the pandemic. Still, thousands will be affected.
The Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank, estimated that approximately 167,000 temporary workers will be barred from the United States as a result of the new restrictions, which took effect Wednesday.
The government argued, in the proclamation of the measures, that the “extraordinary circumstances” posed by the coronavirus required the suspension of work visas. However, immigrant advocates, industries and experts noted that the administration is taking advantage of the pandemic to make sweeping changes to the nation’s immigration system and to advance its agenda of reducing legal immigration.