The Trump administration is preparing to roll out another set of restrictions on legal immigration, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, even as it argues for the reopening of the US economy, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.

Despite a push from President Donald Trump to move past the pandemic, the administration is continuing to usher forward immigration measures, citing the outbreak and its toll on the economy.

One of the key figures behind the push to limit immigration is Stephen Miller (The Darth Vader of Immigration), Trump’s lead immigration adviser and the architect of the President’s hardline immigration agenda.  In April, Trump signed an executive order banning some immigration to the US after teasing an outright ban on immigration to the country.  Trump argued that the order was needed to protect American jobs.

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, the administration has pressed forward with a series of immigration measures that, prior to coronavirus, had struggled to breakthrough.  Among those changes is the closure of the southern border to migrants, including those seeking asylum, unless certain conditions are met.

After the President proclamation, Miller cast the move as a first step toward reducing the flow of immigrants coming into the United States.  The proclamation set up deadlines for review, one of which is approaching, and left the possibility open for its extension or modification.

Interest groups, businesses, and experts are fighting any new restrictions, saying that visas allowing immigrants to temporarily work in the US are critical to the economy.

“Why would he want to cut off critical workforce that will help the economy recover?” said Greg Chen, director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

It is not a rational or reasonable approach to the stated goals of what they are trying to achieve, which only points to the underlying purpose of effectuating the President’s hidden agenda:  to reduce legal immigration by 50%.

CNN previously reported that Trump’s political advisers view the immigration steps as motivating for his base supporters at a moment when the President’s key election message – a strong economy – is badly weakened by the pandemic.

Legal immigration, which has already taken a hit during the outbreak, is again in focus in deliberations about an anticipated immigration executive order.

A slate of visas, which allow immigrants to temporarily work in the US, is under consideration to be suspended for a period of time, including L-1 visas for intracompany transfers, H-1Bs for workers in a specific occupation, H-2Bs for temporary non-agricultural workers and J-1 visas for exchange visitors, according to three sources familiar with plans.

America’s foreign-born workforce “is enabling many Americans to continue to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is playing an essential role…to keep businesses running securely and people connected.”


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