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New Immigration Policy Impacts Businesses

Date: July 28, 2020

On June 22, President Donald Trump announced an executive order, "Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak," which was implemented immediately. Effective until December 31, 2020, this order places a range of new restrictions on temporary U.S. visas. Specifically, the order place a moratorium on the issuance of new H1B visas for skilled workers, H2B visas for unskilled workers, L visas for corporate executives and J visas for younger participants in work and study programs. The executive order also extends an existing moratorium on the issuance of new green cards until the end of the year.

The H1B and L visa moratoria are problematic to many MEMA members, and we are exploring the possibility of seeking specific exemptions from these and the other orders. The executive order notes that the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Department of Labor and the Department of State, can "recommend any modifications as may be necessary" after the first 30 days and each 60 days thereafter. 

OESA is conducting a member survey to help determine which are the most important visa programs to their members. OESA and MEMA want to better understand the experience of member companies with these visas and the impact of the president's new executive order upon them. This survey of OESA members will help formulate the MEMA public policy response on Capitol Hill and with the Trump administration on the visa issue. There will hopefully be appropriate exemptions to request for motor vehicle parts manufacturers.  

Additionally, on July 22, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed a lawsuit on July 22 in Federal court challenging this executive order. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, TechNet, and Intrax joined NAM in this lawsuit, highlighting the broad range of U.S. company concerns with the order. 

The lawsuit alleges that the executive order violates the Administrative Procedures Act and exceeds the president’s authority to restrict entry into the United States. The goal of the lawsuit is an injunction that blocks the continuation of implementation of the proclamation.

If you have questions about immigration issues, please contact Bill Frymoyer bfrymoyer@mema.org of MEMA. If you have questions about the survey, please contact Joe Zaciek of OESA at jzaciek@oesa.mema.org.

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