From: Fabrizio Evola [Email him]
Over the next few months, there could be a huge drop in the number of immigrants in the United States as a result of the pandemic. The effects on the economy have been rather profound, and millions of people are expected to lose their jobs. The one bright spot to all of this is that we are likely to see a drop in the number of immigrants in the labor force as well. Currently, H-1B visa holders are lobbying the White House so that they can stay in the United States, despite the economic downturn. [India’s Unemployed H-1B Workers Lobby White House to Stay in the U.S., by Neil Munro, Breitbart, March 29, 2020]
Under current administrative rules, an H-1B holder must leave the United States within 60 days after losing their job, unless they can find another means of employment in a similar field. When the economy is strong that is usually not much of a problem, but circumstances are different now since few technology companies in places like Silicon Valley are hiring. The lobbyists are asking for a 180 day grace period to find a new job.
The Trump Administration should just ignore their request and let the 60 days pass without taking any action. The vast majority of these H-1B holders will self-deport. That could also create a "chilling effect" upon other potential H-1B applicants who may now think twice before applying for admission into the United States under the program.
President Trump has implemented positive changes to our immigration system through the use of executive orders and administrative action, but this crisis presents him with a unique opportunity to fulfill his campaign promises on immigration. There will need to be major legislative action from Congress before he can permanently place America First. He needs to maximize his political leverage from this event.
As former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel once said, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."
See earlier letters from the same reader.