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Photo: Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Monday that President Trump's expansion of legal immigration restrictions — including a temporary ban on high-skilled H-1B visas — will have a "chilling effect" on the country's economic recovery.

Why it matters: Graham is one of Trump's closest allies in the Senate. He and many pro-business groups, including major tech companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have expressed disapproval at the decision to restrict legal immigration during the pandemic.

What he's saying: Graham tweeted, "Those who believe legal immigration, particularly work visas, are harmful to the American worker do not understand the American economy."

  • "Work visas for temporary and seasonal jobs covering industries like hospitality, forestry, and many economic sectors can only be issued AFTER American workers have had a chance to fill the job position."
  • "Before coronavirus, legal immigration and programs like these played an important role in helping President Trump create the strongest economy in generation. I have little doubt that programs like these would help him build it again."
  • "Unfortunately, I fear the President’s decision today to temporarily shut down these programs will create a drag on our economic recovery."
  • "The shuttering of these programs may not lead to employment opportunities for displaced American workers, but could instead increase the cost of consumer goods for Americans — particularly service industry related products," he added.

The big picture: The Trump administration on Monday banned U.S. entry for foreigners on specific temporary work visas through 2020, including high-skilled H-1B visas.

  • The move expands on earlier coronavirus-related immigration restrictions, which have also been extended through the end of the year.
  • Per Axios' Stef Kight, the additional restrictions will also affect H-1B spouses, non-agriculture worker H-2Bs visas, short-term workers on J-1 exchange visas, and L visas, which allow companies to move employees working overseas to U.S. offices.

Go deeper

Dems on Senate Judiciary tell Graham to delay filling Ginsburg's seat

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) speaking in August.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), called on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to delay filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court until after the presidential inauguration.

What it matters: Democrats cited the Senate GOP's refusal to consider President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016. Republicans at that time claimed voters should choose the president and the president should select the justice, since the vacancy occurred during an election year.

1 hour ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in U.K.

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.