Graham: Trump visa order will have a ‘chilling effect on our economic recovery’
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday that the order President Trump signed earlier in the day suspending certain temporary work visas through the end of the year will have a “chilling effect” on the nation’s economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“This decision, in my view, will have a chilling effect on our economic recovery at a time we should be doing all we can to restore the economy,” Graham said in a series of tweets.
Legal immigration is a positive for the American economy, and visa programs allowing American companies to secure qualified, legal labor throughout the world have benefitted economic growth in the United States.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 22, 2020
The order Trump signed Monday applies to H-1B visas, H-2B visas, H-4 visas, L-1 visas and certain J-1 visas.
“Under ordinary circumstances, properly administered temporary worker programs can provide benefits to the economy,” the order reads. “But under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.”
Graham said such visa programs are “positive for the American economy,” adding that “those who believe legal immigration, particularly work visas, are harmful to the American worker do not understand the American economy.”
The senator underscored his comments by saying that work visas for temporary and seasonal jobs “can only be issued AFTER American workers have had a chance to fill the job position.”
“Before coronavirus, legal immigration and programs like these played an important role in helping President Trump create the strongest economy in generations. I have little doubt that programs like these would help him build it again,” Graham said.
Graham said he fears Trump’s decision to temporarily shut the program will “create a drag on our economic recovery” and said doing so may not lead to employment opportunities for displaced American workers but “could instead increase the cost of consumer goods for Americans — particularly service industry related products.”