Trump Suspends Green Cards, H-1B, Other Visas Until January The White House says pausing immigration and a variety of temporary work visas will help respond to job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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Trump Freezes Green Cards, Many Work Visas Until End Of Year

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Trump Freezes Green Cards, Many Work Visas Until End Of Year

Trump Freezes Green Cards, Many Work Visas Until End Of Year

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President Trump's plans for a massive rally in Oklahoma last week were thwarted in part by young people who secured tickets but never intended on showing up. Today, President Trump looks for a do-over, this time in Arizona. And this time, he is talking to young people. He'll hold a couple of events for young voters and is expected to talk about the southern border wall and a new executive order that restricts legal immigration and many types of work visas.

NPR White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez joins us now. Franco, good morning. Arizona is not a state President Trump expected to have to campaign so hard in, right?

FRANCO ORDOÑEZ, BYLINE: That's right. Hence likely why this is his third trip to the state this year - just a sign of the importance the campaign has put on Arizona. He's going to talk there about the border wall, primarily during a visit to Yuma, and keeping undocumented migrants out of the United States. He's also going to give a speech to an event in Phoenix with young supporters at a large crowd. This particularly is drawing some scrutiny after his rally on Saturday in Tulsa, given the concerns about spikes in coronavirus cases in Arizona. So that issue may actually draw more attention than the immigration message.

MARTIN: OK, let's talk about immigration, in particular the executive order that the president signed yesterday, I believe it was. Who's affected?

ORDOÑEZ: Well, the order freezes new immigration until the end of the year, extending a measure the White House put in place in April. It also restricts new visas for temporary workers in a variety of sectors, for tech companies, management positions and even for foreign students who provide child care as au pairs. The idea behind it is to respond to job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic and preserve jobs for Americans. It applies to new immigrants and visa applications, not people who are already in the United States.

MARTIN: OK. So how much difference will it make in terms of jobs?

ORDOÑEZ: The White House says that it will mean 525,000 jobs are protected for Americans, and it's being welcomed by people that want to see less immigration - for example, Jessica Vaughan. She's the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.

JESSICA VAUGHAN: The employers who formerly chose to hire visa workers instead of U.S. workers are going to have to change their recruiting practices and be looking more seriously at Americans and legal immigrant workers who are already here.

ORDOÑEZ: The White House has been under a lot of pressure from advocates like Jessica to do this.

MARTIN: Although there are employers who will tell you that they don't have the kind of skilled labor here in the U.S., which is why they go abroad, right? What about some of the critiques of this?

ORDOÑEZ: Yeah, there's been a lot of critiques, even from people who use these foreign workers for help so they can go to work. I talked to Dawn Gile, who heads a military spouse network. She's had four au pairs during the past 20 years while her husband's been on active duty.

DAWN GILE: For me, I work full-time. I need flexible in-home child care that the au pair program provides. And by removing that, it's frustrating for us and scary for us because we don't know what we're going to do for child care, especially given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic and day cares being closed.

ORDOÑEZ: And you note the business groups - groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers - they say these visa suspensions will actually hurt economic recovery.

MARTIN: NPR White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, thank you.

ORDOÑEZ: Thank you.

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