Massachusetts Leaders: President Trump’s Latest Immigration Restrictions Will Damage the Commonwealth’s Economy

According to reporting from The Boston Globe, President Trump has signed an executive order restricting several different types of employment visas through the end of 2020. Subject to some important, but limited exceptions, the following visas will not be issued for the remainder of 2020:  

  • H-1B visas: H-1B visas are for professional workers in certain specialty occupations, including accounting, technology, engineering, architecture, mathematics, and more. 
  • H-2B visas: H-2B visas are typically reserved for non-agricultural workers who are filling temporary, seasonal positions.  
  • J-1 visas: These visas are issued to foreign nationals participating in cultural and educational exchange programs in the United States. 
  • L-1 visas: An L-1 visa is meant for employees transferring to an American office location within a single multinational company or organization. 

The Trump Administration’s temporary will create significant hardship for many people around the world. In addition, the Executive Order is likely to cause tangible harm to the U.S. economy—including the economy of Massachusetts, which is heavily dependent on the contributions of immigrants and their families. 

Massachusetts Relies on the Contributions of Immigrants

As reported by the Boston Business Journal, political leaders and business leaders in Massachusetts are sounding the alarm. They are warning that President Trump’s unilateral immigration restrictions will hurt our region. On June 22nd, MassBio President and Chief Executive Officer Robert K. Coughlin released a statement decrying the Executive Order. Mr. Coughlin noted that the restrictions will “will do nothing but hurt Massachusetts’ economic recovery” and that “it is highly counterproductive” to stop the flow of highly skilled immigrants at a time when so many are helping our country fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Research: Restricting Work Visas Hurts All Americans

In pushing restrictions on documented immigration—something that President Trump has previously stated that he would not try to do—the Administration is claiming that it is supporting American workers. The research is clear: This argument does not hold up under even a basic level of scrutiny. Restricted immigration hurts all Americans. As the National Academy of Sciences concluded: 

  1. Restricting immigration does not increase employment among Americans;
  2. Restricting immigration does not increase the wages of native born workers;
  3. Restricting immigration does reduce the formation of new businesses; and
  4. Restricting immigration does reduce innovation in the United States. 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and an ever-changing global economy, Massachusetts will not benefit from sudden restrictions to employment visas. By cutting off high skilled foreign workers, the United States will fall behind—and, of course, foreign workers and their loved ones will pay the highest price. 

Call Our Boston, MA Employment Immigration Attorney for Help

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we have the skills and experience to handle the full range of employment visa cases. If you have any questions about your application, we can help. To arrange a completely confidential, no-obligation review of your immigration case, please reach out to us at (617) 722-0005. With a conveniently located office in Boston, we serve communities throughout Eastern Massachusetts, including in Plymouth, Marshfield, Cambridge, Lawrence, and Brookline.