Ideally, anyone from Hong Kong should be able to get on a plane and fly to the United States using their passports tomorrow, just as anyone from a Visa Waiver Program country can. But this is the next‐best option
The president is suspending several foreign worker programs, claiming it’s necessary to protect American jobs. But these programs create jobs for Americans, and eliminating them will undermine recovery.
The administration did offer to extend Visa Waiver Program statuses during the pandemic if people applied in time. But the U.S. should be doing more to ameliorate the immigration problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
America’s unemployment rate fell in May, but President Trump may still add more restrictions on temporary foreign workers. One category he may target is the H-4 visa for spouses of H-1B high skilled workers.
Forcibly keeping jobs open hinders the goal of businesses getting back to the pre‐pandemic status quo as quickly as possible and will delay the recovery, hurting U.S. workers elsewhere in the economy.
The H-1B program is the main on‐ramp recent foreign college graduates have to the U.S. labor market. Excluding these workers would shrink the skilled foreign labor market by more than 50 percent, and America would lose talented workers essential to post‐COVID‐19 recovery.