US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday expanding a measure restricting visas to the US until December 31, 2020.
The order primarily affects H-1B visas, for high-skilled workers; H-2B visas, for seasonal employees; L-1 visas, for corporate executives; and J-1 visas, for scholars and exchange programs.
The new measures came into effect on Wednesday, 24 June but it is worth noting that there are broad exemptions for agricultural, health care, and food industry workers. In addition, the status of immigrants already in the US will not be affected.
The White House says the measures are needed to preserve jobs amid the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and estimates 525,000 American jobs will be saved or created as a result.
However, there is a threat that the jobs that these non-U.S. citizens
would have held are ones that U.S. workers can’t or won’t fill.
In addition, Abdurrahman B. Aydemir believes that high-skilled immigrants in the labor market can raise wages for low-skilled native workers struggling with declining labor market prospects. Here is an abstract from his IZA World of Labor article:
“Skilled immigrants increase the receiving country's human capital stock, boost returns on physical capital, and may spur research and innovation that increase the country's long-term economic growth prospects. Admitting high-skilled immigrants to fill short-term skill shortages in rapidly expanding skill-intensive sectors can improve industrial competitiveness and keep jobs in the country. Highly paid skill-based immigrants widen the tax base and help offset growing fiscal challenges, especially those associated with aging populations. These positive prospects help maintain public support for immigration, as opposition to immigration rises with perceptions of poor labor market performance and heavy welfare reliance.”