WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 19: U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a copy of an executive order he signed on DOT deregulation, during a meeting with his cabinet in the East Room of the White House on May 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day President Trump met with members of the Senate GOP. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trump’s New Immigration Order Is Hateful and Petty

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Donald Trump is a monster. We know this. In his latest effort to show that, he’s tapped into his long-standing hatred of immigrants with a new executive action that will severely restrict the entry of foreign workers into the US. Trump extended an already existing freeze on green cards and signed an executive order suspending new H-1B visa as well as other temporary work visas for skilled workers, managers, and au pairs through the end of the year.

While this probably won’t affect workers currently in the country on theses types of visas, this is still spiteful and terrible. The extended freeze on green cards began as a stop-gap during the initial coronavirus shut down, meant in theory to protect American jobs by taking away the opportunity from non-Americans. This is more of the same but will do far more harm to businesses than it will do to help America or provide jobs to Americans.

The goal, according to insiders in to “save” 525,000 jobs that the administration believes should go to Americans. However, the reason that many companies bring over workers on H1-B visas is because those workers have extremely specialized skills, and (sorry, American exceptionalism) but the most skilled people often aren’t from America.

Because it will limit their pools of workers, and potentially even threaten existing contracts and business, businesses are expected to object to the move. (Tech companies like Google, Amazon, Tesla, and Apple have already opposed Trump’s move.) and But the anti-immigration assholes that work for Trump and support him are celebrating. Because this is just another wall, another way to keep people who Trumpers fear and hate out of America. Keeping out new guest workers is another terrible step in Trump’s war on immigrants and he’s using the coronavirus, which he has mishandled and dismissed at every step, as an excuse. This move likely also emerged as a way to distract his base from a truly awful week for Trump.

There will be exceptions to this rule, specifically for professors and academics, and people can go through the tangle of bureaucracy to request exemptions, but that’s of little consolation.

Tellingly, this freeze will not apply to H-2A agriculture workers. This is because America still wants to exploit seasonal migrant labor to keep our food supply flowing. These are the same workers that are exempt from nearly every law regarding minimum wage, overtime and work safety because America needs to be able to exploit them to keep functioning. It’s almost as if the administration doesn’t really care about “American jobs” when they’re the kinds of jobs Trump and his ilk don’t believe are worthy of “real Americans.”

It remains to be seen of this order will be challenged in court, but it’s the very act of it that matters. It’s another performance of hate on a global scale that should shame any other President out of office, but in the Trump world, it’s just another Tuesday.

(via NPR, image: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Author
Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.