Experts warn Trump's new anti-immigrant order will harm US business

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Trump's latest crackdown on work visas will 'push investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth, and reduce job creation,' one expert said.

Donald Trump's executive order barring work visas for a wide range of immigrants will hurt the United States, the nation’s largest scientific society warned on Tuesday.

"Restricting immigration does not make America great or safe," Sudip Parikh, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said in a statement.

Preventing highly skilled workers from coming to the country "will harm American science and threatens our scientific leadership," Parikh said, adding that Trump's decision risks "further isolating the United States and exacerbating the perception that our nation is no longer welcoming" to immigrants.

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The AAAS statement followed comments from business and technology leaders also criticizing Trump’s decision.

"Putting up a 'not welcome' sign" will "push investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth, and reduce job creation," Thomas J. Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement released on Monday.

"Immigration has contributed immensely to America's economic success, making it a global leader in tech," Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, tweeted on Monday. "Disappointed by today’s proclamation - we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all."

Earlier that day, Trump issued a proclamation severely restricting several categories of immigration visas for the rest of the year, claiming the move was designed to help American workers.

The ban applies to many H1-B visas — for highly skilled workers — spouses of H1-B visa recipients, H2-B visas — for temporary workers — and visas used by companies to bring employees located abroad to the United States.

The administration made exceptions for some agricultural laborers and health care workers, as well as the type of visas commonly used by au pairs.

Amazon, the company with the most H1-B visa employees in 2019, described the order as "short-sighted," adding that it "puts American’s global competitiveness at risk."

Trump's announcement followed a decision in April to bar most immigrants seeking permanent residency in the United States.

That decision was also met with criticism.

"Scapegoating immigrants has long been a tactic used by the Trump administration as a way to distract from the administration's many failings," the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, wrote in April."

The order was "a convenient way to take attention away from the administration's botched response to the coronavirus pandemic and to blame immigrants for all of society's ills."

According to the Post, Trump at the time ordered administration officials to look into the impact of additional work restrictions for immigrants.

In the weeks that followed, business leaders pushed Trump not to implement additional measures. Anti-immigrant advocates, meanwhile, urged the administration to implement even harsher measures than the April restrictions.

"This is a victory for the immigration hawks within the White House," Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, an anti-immigrant hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, told the Post on Monday.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.