White House plans to extend new immigration restrictions

The White House is preparing to expand and extend new immigration restrictions for months and possibly years, according to a new report.

President Trump’s advisers are planning a new executive order that would suspend some new temporary work visas. The order is expected this month, and while it is viewed as temporary, it may need to stay in place until a vaccine is made widely available in the United States and across the Americas, administration officials told the Wall Street Journal.

Visas for highly skilled workers and seasonal migrant workers are expected to be included, as are student visas and the work authorizations that come with them.

Administration officials said that the move could affect anything from entire categories of visas to incentives for companies in struggling industries to hire American workers. The economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April, the most that the federal government has reported since it began recording the figures in 1939.

Unemployment rose to 14.7%, with Trump economic adviser Kevin Hassett telling CNN that he believed it could surge higher to around 20%.

New restrictions on immigration present an opportunity to reform the immigration system under the auspices of public health and job protection. The move is part of a broader vision to slash immigration.

The new initiative follows a series of actions by the president on immigration as the coronavirus pandemic hit. In January, the White House announced travel restrictions for passengers entering from China and other hard-hit countries as the spread of the new virus accelerated.

After closing U.S. borders to nonessential travel in March, the administration began to expel migrants who crossed the border illegally. One month later, Trump signed an executive order temporarily suspending new immigration to the U.S. for 60 days.

*story by The Washington Examiner