CAPAC Chair Statement on Executive Order Restricting Legal Immigration

Jun 23, 2020

Washington, D.C. –  On Monday, President Trump issued an executive order limiting legal immigration through the rest of 2020. The order restricts H-1B visas, which include specialty occupations such as tech workers and postdoctoral scholars; H-2B, temporary non-agricultural workers; certain categories of J visas, which includes international workers typically hired to temporarily fill jobs like au pairs, camp counselors, and more; and L-visas, which are used for intracompany transfers. The order does not include agricultural workers and makes exceptions for those who would be in the national interest, like medical professionals. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, issued the following statement:

“Once again, despite claiming that he loves immigrants and only wants to uphold the law, Donald Trump demonstrates his goal is to upend our laws in order to end all immigration. In recent months, the President has used the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to curtail legal immigration to the United States, chipping away at decades of immigration policies that have enabled our nation to attract top talent from around the world. This will disproportionately impact high-skilled workers from Asia, who overwhelming utilize the H1-B visa system and account for over 80 percent of H1-B visa holders in the United States. It’s a purely xenophobic and bigoted agenda that actually works against our national interest. As the exceptions to this order prove, immigrants are vital to our economy. Immigrants are not only needed in agriculture and medicine – two wildly divergent fields – they’re needed in business, academia, and everything in between as well. If we want to rebuild our economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot close ourselves off from immigrants. The President’s order puts his own election-year politics over the needs of our country. Worse, by stoking xenophobia and furthering the false impression that immigrants take away American jobs, the President’s order is putting immigrants at risk at a time when hate crimes are spiking. This order divides our country at a moment when we need to be rebuilding. I’m strongly opposed to the Trump administration’s continued attacks on our legal immigration system.”