Updated Jul 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Business groups sue Trump admin over immigration restrictions

President Donald Trump speaks with Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf (L) as he participates in a briefing  in Beverly Hills, California, on February 18

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and President Trump speaks at a briefing in Beverly Hills, California, in February. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and National Association of Manufacturers filed a lawsuit in San Francisco against the Trump administration on Tuesday over federal immigration restrictions.

Driving the news: The suit comes in response to the administration's move to ban entry into the U.S. through the end of this year for foreigners on certain temporary work visas — including high-skilled H-1B visas that are relied on by big U.S. tech companies.

"Our lawsuit seeks to overturn these sweeping and unlawful immigration restrictions that are an unequivocal 'not welcome' sign to the engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses, and other critical workers who help drive the American economy."
— joint statement by the business groups
  • The business groups said in a statement they took the action against Department of Homeland Security, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, the State Department and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo because "these restrictions will push investment abroad, inhibit economic growth, and reduce job creation" if left in place.

The big picture, per Axios' Stef Kight: President Trump has leveraged emergency powers and economic concern from the coronavirus to slowly shut down large parts of the immigration system— even as he urges states to reopen.

  • The restrictions that came into effect on June 24 expand on Trump's earlier coronavirus-related immigration ban introduced in late April and also extended through the end of the year.
  • Also impacted by these measures are visas for H-1B spouses, H-2Bs for non-agriculture workers, J-1 exchange visas for short-term workers, and L visas, which allow companies to transfer employees working overseas to U.S. offices.
  • The Trump administration did not immediately return Axios' requests for comment on the lawsuit.

Read the complaint via DocumentCloud:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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