Dec 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump extends immigration and work visa restrictions through March

Trump entering the Oval Office on Dec. 31.

Trump entering the Oval Office on Dec. 31. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump on Thursday extended pandemic-era bans on certain immigrant and work visas until March 31.

Why it matters: The bans — issued in April and June and set to expire on Thursday — go against the recommendations of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and tech companies who have argued that they will encourage investment abroad, inhibit economic growth and reduce job creation.

  • The restrictions include a ban on green cards issued abroad, H-1B work visas and several other employment-based visas.

Context: Trump leveraged emergency powers and economic concern from the coronavirus over the summer to slowly shut down large parts of the immigration system in the name of protecting American workers from foreign competition, per Axios' Stef Kight.

The big picture: President-elect Joe Biden has criticized the restrictions but has not said whether his administration would immediately reverse them after he takes office on Jan. 20, according to Reuters.

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